Iowa Caucus sets stage for presidential campaigns

By Rachel Popa

Staff Reporter

Iowa Caucus sets stage.tiff

Candidates sought votes in the Iowa Caucus on Feb. 1, hoping to get one step closer for their party’s nomination.  Photo courtesy of Twitter

Citizens of Iowa went to the polls to vote for who they want to be the Democratic and Republican nominees for president in the 2016 election on Monday, February. 1. Bernie Sanders, who was looked upon as the underdog for the Democratic nomination, narrowly trailed behind Hillary Clinton in the polls. According to the Associated Press, Clinton received 49.9 percent of the vote, while Bernie got 49.6 percent.

According to an analysis by NPR, Clinton struggles with getting the progressive vote, causing her lead over Sanders to be so slim. Those who voted for Clinton tended to be “down the road” Democrats, while those who voted for Sanders identified as “very liberal.”

Roosevelt University journalism professor Charles Madigan, who is teaching a class on the election this semester, said that he thinks that Sanders has a chance at beating Clinton, but not a decent one and not one based off of what happened in the Iowa Caucus.

“You have to wipe Iowa out of your mind and think of all of these things as brand new days,” Madigan said. “What happened in Iowa will inform how Clinton approaches the campaign from here on out. Her staff can’t think of him [Sanders] as an old guy with very leftist tendencies that can’t sell in a moderate America.”

As for the Republicans in the Iowa Caucus, junior Texas senator Ted Cruz came out on top with 27.6 percent of the vote, with Donald Trump in second with 24.3 percent of the vote, according to the AP. Marco Rubio, a junior senator from Florida, trailed behind Cruz and Trump with 23.1 percent of the vote.

According to NPR, the evangelical vote was split between Cruz and Rubio, despite Trump claiming that evangelical voters “love him.”

Madigan said that the other candidates besides Cruz and Rubio do not have the financial or emotional presence to challenge Trump, and will likely drop out as a result – although it is a little early to be making predictions. However, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, as well as Kentucky senator Rand Paul, did both announce on Feb 3. that they were suspending their campaigns for the Republican nomination.

Moving forward, caucuses for each party’s nomination for president will be taking place over the coming weeks, with the New Hampshire scheduled next on Tuesday, February 9.

“It will be a great, great thing to watch, and will let us all know once again the importance of our individual votes,” Madigan said.


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