Headlines: Ted Cruz wins Iowa; Virtual tie for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton with victory unclear; Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley both suspended their campaigns
Countdown Clock — Nine Days to New Hampshire Primary
Cruz wins Iowa & Overcomes Trump as Rubio Surges to a Strong Third
Texas Senator Ted Cruz was declared victory of Iowa winning 27.65% of the votes. “Morning is coming,” Cruz said as he took the stage to declare his victory, winning the first state of the 2016 primary race. “Tonight is a victory for the grassroots, tonight the state of Iowa has spoke and Iowa has sent a notice.”
Cruz completed fiercely in the Hawkeye state as he completed “the full Glassley” of visiting all 99 counties in Iowa just hours before Iowans head to caucus. Hailing his grassroots efforts and organization during his 30 minute speech at the Iowa state fair, Cruz credited the victory for “courageous conservatives across Iowa and all across this great nation.”
“Tonight is a victory for every American,” Cruz said. “To the revolutionary understanding that all men and all women are created equal, that our rights do not come from the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. Our rights come from our creator.”
Donald Trump gave a gracious concession speech after coming second to Cruz in the Iowa caucuses. “I want to congratulate Ted,” Trump said in a short speech at the Sheraton in West Des Moines. “I want to congratulate all of the incredible candidates, including Mike Huckabee who’s become a really good friend of mine.”
After the endorsement from Sarah Palin two weeks ago, polls predicted Trump would win the Hawkeye state over Cruz. However, Cruz came on top with 28% as Trump and Senator Marco Rubio were almost in a dead heat for second place (24%-23%).
“I was told by everybody ‘do not go to Iowa- you could never finish in the top 10’,” Trump said. “We finished second, and I want to tell you something – I am just honored. Really honored.”
Looking into next week’s primary in New Hampshire, Trump is confident he will secure victory. “Tomorrow afternoon we will be in New Hampshire,” Trump told supporters. “I think we will be proclaiming victory – I hope.” Trump also added he will win the nomination while maybe buying a farm in Iowa. “We will go on to win the nomination and we will go on to beat Hillary or Bernie,” Trump said. “I think I might come here and buy a farm, I love it,” Trump said, concluding his remarks.
Rubio clearly shocked the media tonight with his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses. “For months we were told we had no chance,” Rubio said after his surprise showing to his supporters in the Marriott Hotel in Des Moines. “They told me I had to wait my turn. This is not a time for waiting.”
Rubio gave his speech enthusiastically as he also congratulated Cruz on his victory. “I want to congratulate my friend, Senator Ted Cruz,” Rubio said. “He fought very hard in Iowa and he earned his victory here tonight.”
Looking ahead, Rubio focused his message on defeating the Democratic frontrunner, whoever it is projected to be instead of his Republican rivals. “This is no ordinary election, 2016 is a referendum on our identity as a nation,” Rubio said to raucous cheers. “If Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders becomes president, we will be a great nation in decline.”
Turnout for the Iowa caucus was record breaking. According to reports, over 186,000 Iowans turned out to caucus, surpassing the 120,000 from four years ago.
A total of 30 delegates comes out of the Iowa Republican race. With no landslide winner out of Iowa from the crowded field, the delegates are divided as follows:
Cruz – 8
Rubio – 7
Carson – 3
Paul – 1
Bush – 1
Virtual Tie for Bernie and Hillary
The Democratic battle in Iowa was a key thing to watch, as the results were so close to call. The last two candidates, Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are currently in a virtual tie with no clear-cut victory announced.
Before midnight, both candidates took the stage at their election night party gathered with supporters before they escaped Iowa Blizzard to head to the next first-in-the-nation primary stop of New Hampshire.
Bernie declared in his party rally the Iowa caucuses to be a virtual tie as he thanked supported with official reporting showing one precinct missing in results. “The people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment and to the media establishment,” Bernie said as the crowd cheered on. “That given the enormous crises facing our country, it is just too late for establishment politics and establishment economics.”
In his campaign speech, Bernie touted how his campaign began with no money or momentum and now is looking “to take on the most powerful political organization in the United States.” “Tonight, while the results are still not known, it looks like we are in a virtual tie,” he said. “And while the results are still not complete, it looks like well have about half of the Iowa delegates.”
As for Hillary, she declared victory even as the results were still being tallied with only 95% reporting. In her short speech in Drake University, Hillary declared her victory to be a “breathing a big sigh of relief.” “I stand here tonight, breathing a big sigh of relief,” Hillary said to her supporters. “Thank you Iowa, I will keep doing what I have done my entire life.”
After losing to President Obama eight years ago, Hillary is leaving Iowa to another disappointment of only having a razor-thin lead over her rival. During her speech, Hillary declared herself as “a progressive who gets things done for people,” and is excited to finally debate Bernie one-on-one about “the best way forward to fight for us and America.”
With 99.94% reporting, Hillary has 49.9% to Bernie 49.6%. The close results means that both candidates are likely to split Iowa’s share of delegates.
The stakes were much higher for Sanders as polls projected Hillary to win Iowa with a small margin but win largely in New Hampshire. With Sanders gaining momentum and media coverage, he was seen to win both Iowa and New Hampshire to change the dynamics of Hillary expected victory of the Democratic nomination. As the race moves to more of a diverse states that is in favor to vote for Hillary in higher margin, a Bernie upset in the first in the nation states can also change this dynamics as well.
Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley End Presidential Bid
Two presidential hopeful, one each from both sides of the party line have ended their presidential campaigns after results showed neither candidate had a viable chance of succeeding going forward.
The first candidate to end his presidential campaign was former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley who used his caucus night party in Des Moines to announce the expected. “We fought very, very hard in order to give the people a choice, and the people made their choice tonight,” O’Malley said around 10:30 pm ET. “This fight continues.”
Entering the race in the summer, O’Malley failed to crack double digits in national polls as his two rivals, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dominated headline coverage with both currently in a virtual tie in Iowa. With 90 percent of precincts reporting for the Democrats, O’Malley only registered support of less than 1% of all caucus-goers.
Sanders is credited for attracting the youth liberals with his democratic socialist views that help credited his strong foothold to become the former 2008 presidential contender leading challenger.
O’Malley used his speech to push the need to address climate change, greater gun control laws, and income inequality. His speech also included denouncing the Republican front-runner rhetoric calling it “racist and a fascist.” “We have to hold strong to the values that makes us Americans,” O’Malley said with his family by his side. “And that, too was what this tough fight was about.”
O’Malley has not yet endorsed either one of his rivals.
A few moments later, on the Republican side, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee took to Twitter to announce his unplanned exit.
I am officially suspending my campaign. Thank you for all your loyal support. #ImWithHucK
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) February 2, 2016
His decision to suspend his campaign before Cruz was announced the winner was unexpected, but with results showing Huckabee garnish only 2% to Cruz 20% at that moment resulted in his decision to call in quits.
“[Huckabee] is going to continue to push for the issues he believes in, but right now this is about thanking his staff and supporters and being with his friends and families and see what doors will open next,” Huckabee spokesman Hogan Gidley said.
With Trump dominating media coverage and Cruz receiving influential evangelical leader endorsements, the former governor struggled to gain any media domination or endorsements like his previous 2008 presidential bid. His poll numbers began to decline, bumping Huckabee to the low tier debate stage since November with no signs of returning back to the main stages like others who have been in the same situation.
Huckabee hasn’t endorsed any one of his rivals as all top three winners praised Huckabee during their speeches. He also shot down rumors of his endorsement would be going to Trump after attending his Veterans event during the GOP main stage debate.