Camille Frigillana | PR Manage
The Iowa caucus was held this past Monday, February 1. This is the first major political event leading up to the presidential elections that will take place in November. Senator Ted Cruz won for the Republican party while Hillary Clinton barely passed opponent Bernie Sanders to win on the Democratic side.
The winners of this caucus can serve as an early indicator for who may be potentially pegged as the Republican and Democratic nomination for the presidential bid. These winners have the potential to gain popularity, which in turn helps the raise more money for their campaign.
The caucus works differently between the Republican and Democratic Party. For Republicans, caucus- goers write their pick on a paper ballot and these votes are counted. While Republican candidate Donald Trump was a steady leader in the polls up until the caucus, he was behind by three percent compared to Cruz, falling into second place overall.
The Democratic process is a bit more complicated. Caucus- goers goes to their community area hosting the event (think voting areas during a general election). Then, these people make groups in the room in accordance to who they want to support. In order for a candidate to be considered viable, the group must consist of at least 15% of people in the room. If one group does not meet this, then they must choose another candidate. This process continues until a candidate is determined to have the majority of support.
Clinton and Sanders were neck and neck throughout the whole night, but it was determined early Tuesday morning that Clinton had won by 0.2% over Sanders. However, sources including the New York Times are arguing for a virtual tie as numbers were too close to call.
Following the caucus, Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee and Democrat Martin O’Malley suspended their bid for the presidency after receiving low support. Meanwhile, Democrat runner Ben Carson is taking a break from campaigning in order to return to Florida to get a “fresh set of clothes.” He is expected to get back on the campaign trail later this week
The next major event during this political season is the New Hampshire primaries which will take place on Tuesday, February 9. It is the first in a series of nationwide primaries which determine who will be the presidential candidate from each party.