Presidential hopefuls Senator Ted Cruz, republican, and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, democrat, walked away from the Iowa Caucuses with a win.
Cruz took the state with 51,666 votes, or 27.6 percent, followed by Donald Trump at 24.3 percent and Marco Rubio at 23.1 percent.
Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders remained tied at 50 percent for the majority of the evening and into Tuesday. Just before 1 p.m. yesterday, Clinton was announced winner with 49.9 percent as opposed to Sanders’ 49.6 percent.
Even though Clinton walked away with the official win, political science professor Mike Yawn said moral victories should be taken into account as well.
“There’s kind of two victories,” Yawn said. “There’s the person who has the most votes and the second is the person who did better than expected. So on the republican side, Cruz and Rubio were the winners. Rubio was behind Trump but he did much better in terms of expectations. Sanders did a little bit better than expectations. Clinton, I’m sure much to her relief, did technically win, but Sanders can declare that moral victory of surpassing expectations.”
Yawn said the margin in which Sanders and Clinton were tied is extremely rare and the democratic results can often be misleading.
“It’s very rare, but the results of the democratic side are a little misleading because what they report as votes are not actually votes,” Yawn said. “It’s incredibly complex. When you look at most of the vote totals the results that you see are not actually people. These are projected state delegates and projected national delegates. Unlike the republican side, we know exactly how many people voted for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, we will never actually know that for the democrats.”
Primary elections are party-run events, which means the political parties can determine how they want to conduct their votes.
“The parties are free to set their own rules,” Yawn said. “When it gets to the general election, of course The Constitution and state law and statutory law governs how the states carry out their elections, but right now they can have different rules by party as long as it’s not explicitly discriminatory toward specific protected individuals.”
Looking forward to the New Hampshire primaries, Trump and Sanders are leading in the polls, but that doesn’t always guarantee a win, Yawn said.
“Sanders is about 18 points ahead in the polls in New Hampshire,” Yawn said. “This narrow loss should not hurt him in New Hampshire. Had he lost by 10 or 15 points it may have really sapped his momentum going into New Hampshire. These early primaries are weird and unpredictable, but if he doesn’t win New Hampshire it probably will not be because of his performance in Iowa.”