Despite little media coverage for his campaign, Bernie Sanders made a strong showing in Iowa, trailing behind Clinton by only a handful of delegates up until the end. The voting was so close in some precincts, Clinton won the final few delegates by a coin toss.
Clinton’s presidential campaign has received almost all of the media coverage for the Democratic party, while the Sanders campaign has been virtually ignored by all but the most left-leaning broadcast programs. Not only has the media ignored his campaign, the DNC has practically refused to acknowledge him as a viable candidate. Few debates were scheduled, and those that were have been slated for weekends and dates preceding holidays when fewer viewers were bound to watch.
Sanders also refuses corporate sponsorship, but has broken fundraising records thanks to individual donors contributing small amounts. Without the Super PAC money used by Clinton’s campaign, Sanders has managed to stay neck-and-neck with her in the polls and in the Iowa caucus vote.
Up until Iowa, the media and Clinton’s camp were pushing the message that Hillary had the nomination locked up. After the extremely close vote, however, it’s unlikely that the nomination will come so easily for Clinton.
The New Hampshire primary could prove a difficult one for her campaign, since Bernie Sanders leads her by 23 points in current polls and is likely to win. Clinton also declared herself the winner in the Iowa caucus while every major outlet was reporting that the race was too close to call, a move considered a serious blunder by media reporters.
Iowa, the first caucus of the election year, generally separates the weak contenders from the strong, as it did on the Republican side. Ted Cruz won the state with 28%, while general front-runner Donald Trump received 24% of the vote. Marco Rubio wasn’t far behind with 23%, while none of the many other Republican candidates received enough votes to pose a threat to the top contenders.
Martin O’Malley, the third Democratic candidate and a former governor of Maryland, ended his run for the presidency on the night of the Iowa caucus after a poor showing. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are now the only Democratic candidates.
Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady and Secretary of State, was believed to be the easy victor, while experts and pundits believed that Bernie Sanders’ message of political change would only resonate with a small number of voters, especially younger people. It appears that more voters are ready for a political revolution, given how well his campaign fared during its first true test in Iowa.