From Iowa to New Hampshire: An update on the Democratic nomination race

By Juniper Oxford, Staff Reporter

Senator Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg topped the results of the Iowa caucus, which is the first state in the nation to vote in the Democratic primaries. 

According to CNN, Sanders won the popular vote ahead of Buttigieg by 2,631 votes in the second round of voting. 

Sanders received 26.6% of the popular vote and Buttigieg received 25%. Senator Elizabeth Warren received 20.2%, Former Vice President Joe Biden received 13.7%, and Senator Amy Klobuchar received 12.3%. 

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Buttigieg won the amount of State Delegate Equivalents by a slim margin, receiving 26.2% to Sanders’ 26.1%. 

Buttigieg claimed victory with no districts reporting, one day after the Iowa caucuses. Sanders claimed victory three days after the caucuses, citing internal data from his campaign as evidence. 

With 3% left to report and days after the caucuses, the Democratic National Committee Chairperson Tom Perez demanded a recaucus of the results. All districts’ results have now been reported, but that will not stop a recanvass from affecting the results. 

Benjamin Bricker, assistant professor in SIU’s department of political science, said it was difficult to predict the outcome of the Iowa caucuses. 

Bricker said polling right before the caucuses showed a close race between Sanders and Biden. Biden ended up in fourth place, with Klobuchar in fifth place less than a percentage point behind in the popular vote. 

“There was a lot where Joe Biden was getting less than 15% on the first ballot. He got nothing. I mean, Yang has the same number of delegates as Joe Biden does,” Tobin Grant, professor and chair of the political science department, said.  

Bricker said Iowa gets the attention but that the more important states going forward will be New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. 

“One of the things that the early races […] are designed to do is to winnow the field and allow some candidates an opportunity without having to spend a lot of money in major media markets and things like that,” Grant said. 

Aside from Joe Walsh in the Republican primary, no one on the Democratic side dropped out immediately after the caucuses. 

“I think it is fair to say that Buttigieg and Sanders show that they can do well,” Grant said. “Warren and Biden are the two that have more to prove at this point. But, it’s still early to tell because you have these other races that they are going to hold out for so it’ll be really interesting to see how it is after those four races are done.”

The eighth Democratic debate took place in Manchester, New Hampshire ahead of their primary on Feb. 11. 

The debate had its fair share of attacks. With Iowa ending in an essential tie, New Hampshire is the breakout state for some candidates and the saving grace for others. 

Sanders went after Buttigieg about the billionaire donors of Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. 

“I don’t have 40 billionaires, Pete, contributing to my campaign coming from the pharmaceutical industry, coming from Wall Street and all of the big money interests,” Sanders said. “What we do have is over 6 million contributions from over a million and a half people averaging $18.50 a contribution.”

Andrew Yang had not met the requirement for the seventh Democratic debate, which took place in January, but was on the stage in New Hampshire. 

Yang said President Donald Trump is not the root cause of all problems. 

“Donald Trump is not the cause of all of our problems,” Yang said. “We are making a mistake when we act like he is. He is a symptom of a disease. It is our job of getting to the harder work of actually curing the disease.” 

Klobuchar commented on Trump as well. Her critique was about Trump not taking accountability and shifting blame. 

“We have a president that literally blames everyone […] He blames the King of Denmark. Who does that? He blames the prime minister of Canada for, he claims, cutting him out of the Canadian version of Home Alone 2. Who does that?” Klobuchar said. 

Biden acknowledged his defeat in Iowa and all but conceded early with the New Hampshire primary. 

“I took a hit in Iowa and I’ll probably take one here,” Biden said. “Bernie won by 20 points last time. Usually, it’s the neighboring senators that do well.”

Staff reporter Juniper Oxford can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JuniperOxford.

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