Predictions are in: Donald Trump and Pete Buttigieg are indicated to be the Republican and Democratic candidates respectively in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
On a biennial cycle, Iowans in every precinct are polled to gauge support for the presidential candidates in each political party. Although every state in the U.S. participates in either binding primaries or caucuses, Iowa’s always draws the most attention. The Iowa caucuses do not have a population that financially mirrors the economic range of the U.S. nor a population that replicates the educational status of the U.S as a whole, yet this particular caucus is often seen as a strong indicator of how a presidential candidate will do in later elections.
"I think the caucuses are what democracies are built on," Charlie Szold, the communications director for the Iowa GOP, told Business Insider last year. "The idea that a group of neighbors will get together to talk and debate and decide who they want to be our next president or our next nominee in this case gets at the very essence of what America is built on."
This year’s Democratic caucus grabbed more media attention than usual as surprising news rolled in from the polls. Former Vice President, Joe Biden, a predicted close-call for the Democratic lead, came in at fourth place garnering only 15.8 percent of the votes. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it,” Biden said on Wednesday, Feb. 5 as he campaigned in New Hampshire. “We took a gut punch in Iowa.” Referencing the diversity of Iowa, Biden commented that his strength is with black voters with whom he is counting on for support in future voting.
Taking third place in the Democratic caucus with 18 percent of the total vote count, Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts, was frustrated by the lack of media coverage reporting on her win against Biden. Calling out the media for what Warren dubbed “virtual erasure” brought the cameras to her immediately. Whether or not her point stands is still to be determined. With strong debate on both sides of her issue, we may never get a definitive answer.
In second place is Bernie Sanders who lost to Pete Buttigieg by only 0.1 percentage point. Sanders, with 26.1 percent of the vote, was very surprised by his second-place ranking. Brushing off the loss, Sanders claimed victory in Iowa by popular vote. His campaign is now seeking a partial recanvass of the caucus results.
After declaring an early victory hours before the first votes came in, Pete Buttigieg won with 26.2 percent.