Themorningbellbd.com desk, Feb 2: Former secretary of state Senator Hillary Clinton had won by a razor-thin margin against US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history, report agencies.
While, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz soundly defeated billionaire Donald Trump in Iowa’s Republican presidential nominating contest on Monday, dealing a big blow to the national front-runner in the race to be their party’s White House nominee in 2016.
Cruz, a conservative lawmaker from Texas, won with 28 per cent of the vote compared to 24 per cent for businessman Trump, according to MSNBC.
Marco Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida, came in third place with 23 per cent, making him easily the leader among establishment candidates.
With Democrat Clinton prevailing by only four delegates, according to party figures, Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, declared the result a “virtual tie.”
“Hillary Clinton has won the Iowa Caucus,” Matt Paul, the Iowa state director for Clinton said in a statement released in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Clinton sighs, Sanders smiles
The results of the Democratic race put pressure on Clinton to siphon support away from Sanders, who has won over politically left-leaning voters with his promises to take on Wall Street and start fresh with healthcare reform.
Clinton, 68, said she was breathing a “big sigh of relief” after the results. She lost Iowa to then-Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic race and never recovered.
“It is rare that we have the opportunity we do now to have a real contest of ideas,” Clinton said with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea joining her on stage.
Sanders, 74, declared himself overwhelmed. The lawmaker, who smiled broadly as he addressed supporters, is leading in New Hampshire, home to next week’s second contest, but trails Clinton in other states such as South Carolina, which holds the third contest.
“Nine months ago, we came to this beautiful state, we had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition, and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America,” Sanders said.
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who had trouble gaining any traction in the Democratic race, suspended his campaign after coming in third in Iowa with 0.6 percent.
The 2016 election is shaping up to be the year of angry voters as disgruntled Americans worry about issues such as immigration, terrorism, income inequality and healthcare, fueling the campaigns of Trump, Sanders and Cruz.