Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was declared the winner of the Iowa Democratic caucuses by the Associated Press on Tuesday morning, narrowly defeating Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
According to the Iowa Democratic Party, the former secretary of state received 699.57 state delegate equivalents, while Sanders was awarded 695.49.
Results from Des Moines, the remaining precinct, finished trickling in on Tuesday morning. The outcome was so close that at one point, IDP Chair Andy McGuire called the results a “virtual tie.” (See the latest results here.)
The Clinton campaign announced early Tuesday that she’d won with “no uncertainty.”
“Hillary Clinton has won the Iowa Caucus. After thorough reporting – and analysis – of results, there is no uncertainty and Secretary Clinton has clearly won the most national and state delegates. Statistically, there is no outstanding information that could change the results and no way that Senator Sanders can overcome Secretary Clinton’s advantage,” her campaign said in a statement.
In a distant third place, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley received just 8 state delegate equivalents. He announced the suspension of his campaign on Monday night.
With the results so close, Sanders’ speech Monday night resembled a version he would give for a victory more than one for a loss.
“While the results are not yet known, it looks like we are in a virtual tie,” Sanders said Monday night.
McGuire said Tuesday in a statement that the results “are the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history.”
Prior to the IDP’s announcement, Sanders noted that he entered the race last year with a sparse operation in Iowa, in order to tout how far he and his supporters had come.
“We have no good 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,” he said.
Clinton, fearing a repeat of 2008 when then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois won the Iowa caucus, invested heavily in offices, paid staff and campaign infrastructure. But, as Sanders noted Monday, he was able to catch up, fueled by grassroots enthusiasm and small-dollar donations.
Sanders said his showing in Iowa sent “a very profound message” to the political, economic and media establishment: “That is, given the enormous crises facing our country, it is just too late for establishment politics and establishment economics.”
He added that Americans are ready for “the radical idea” that they no longer have to put up with “a rigged economy.”
“We are going to create an economy that works for working families, not just the billionaire class,” he said.
The political arm of MoveOn.org, which has endorsed Sanders, also spun the Iowa result as a tie, if not a win, for the senator.
“It is incredible that Bernie Sanders came from so far behind in just a few short months, closing a massive gap to end up in a virtual tie in the Iowa Caucus tonight,” Ilya Sheyman, the progressive group’s executive director, said Monday. “These results are a huge win for the Sanders campaign as well as the broader progressive movement to which Bernie is giving voice. The Sanders campaign leaves Iowa with the wind at its back and substantial momentum heading into New Hampshire.”
Clinton, in her speech earlier Monday night, talked less about how she felt she did in the caucus. She said the close race between her and Sanders provided an opportunity for Democrats “to have a real contest of ideas.”
“I stand here tonight, breathing a big sigh of relief,” she said. “Thank you Iowa!”
The two candidates next turn their attention to New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Feb. 9.
This post has been updated to reflect Clinton was declared the winner of the caucus.
Alana Horowitz and Samantha Lachman contributed reporting.
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