Or maybe not. Bernie Sanders may have actually won Iowa's Democratic caucus last night. One hour prior to this post, the Des Moines Register just reported:
Votes from one precinct in Iowa were still missing Tuesday morning, and Democrats from that neighborhood scrambled to find party officials so that they could report their tally: Bernie Sanders won by 2 delegates over Hillary Clinton. With Des Moines precinct No. 42's results, Clinton's excruciatingly close lead narrowed further, making the final tally for delegate equivalents in the Democratic Iowa caucuses — Clinton: 699.57 Sanders: 697.77 — It quickly raised questions about whether Sanders had won the popular vote in Iowa. Sanders backers called for Iowa Democratic Party officials to release the raw vote totals.
Hillary Clinton may (or may not) have won the Iowa Democratic caucus last night by winning at least 5 out of 5 coin tosses. That's pretty darn lucky — because no political skill, campaign enthusiasm or voter turn-out was needed to win the flip of a coin. Only dumb luck. That's how close the vote was last night.
Hillary may (or may not) have won the state of Iowa in the Democratic primary by a razor-thin 4/10ths of one percent — the narrowest margin ever in the state's history. But Hillary's camp was acting as though they had been given an overwhelming win and a mandate by the American people.
This morning on MSNBC the media talking heads had been discussing the contrast between the campaigns of the two Democratic candidates running for president. They had said one campaign was about "you" and the other campaign was about "me". (The reader can decide who they meant.)
Hillary Clinton's press secretary, Brian Fallon, was spinning Hillary's reported near-loss (she may have won by a mere 0.4%) over Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucus last night as a "victory" — saying it was because Clinton's campaign was generating so much "enthusiasm".
But anybody who has been following all the campaign rallies — or seeing the results of all the online polls — can easily decide who generated the most of enthusiasm. And it's the same candidate who has also had ordinary people create the most campaign songs for their favorite candidate. (Spoiler alert: It wasn't Hillary.)
But this morning, as Hillary was speaking in New Hampshire, she was saying her "win in Iowa" was made by "determination, excitement and hard work."
But if a campaign is claiming their campaign was generating the most enthusiasm, when they know for a fact that it has not, then we can only assume that it's just "spin" to manipulate lesser informed voters into thinking that, by voting for Hillary, they were backing a winner.
Early on during the voting last night, Hillary also made what some people thought might have been a pre-mature "victory" speech. That too could have also been a sign of desperation, when after seeing the vote tallies were so close, Hillary may have attempted to discourage Bernie's supporters from voting by implying she had already won (when in fact, it was very close all night long).
There was a near-record turnout for Democratic caucus-goers last night (and a record for the GOP). For the Democrats, it was only surpassed in 2008 when Obama had ran for the first time. But Hillary's campaign is claiming "enthusiasm" for her campaign is what brought out the vote — even though most first-time caduceus-goers were young, and it was mostly younger voters who voted for Bernie Sanders. The New Yorker wrote:
Bernie Sanders, promoting an American version of “people power,” has confirmed his capture of the Party’s under-forty wing, which means trouble for Hillary Clinton ... When you are so heavily reliant on support from older voters, it is tricky to project yourself as the voice of the future.
Sanders got eighty-six per cent of the Democratic vote in the seventeen-to-twenty-four age group, eighty-one per cent in the twenty-five-to-twenty-nine group, and sixty-five per cent in the thirty-to-thirty-nine age group (representing young people new to the labor market, college-aged voters, younger workers and younger families with their futures ahead of them.)
Clinton, by contrast, was largely reliant on the middle-aged and the elderly. Among forty-something voters, she won by five percentage points. Among the over-fifties, she won by more than twenty per cent. (representing those who have long been out of college and are well into their careers, or nearing retirement age, or already retired.)
Basically, it was the Clinton campaign depriving young people a voice in their own futures.
Senator Ted Cruz won the GOP race with a record-setting number of votes cast in the state of Iowa, winning 28% of the vote and 8 delegates. And Donald Trump, won 24% of the votes with the 2nd most votes ever cast in an Iowa caucus. Despite comming in 2nd place, that's quite an accomplishment for Trump (being a non-politician and his first time running for public office).
In contrast, Hillary Clinton may have had (pending the official final tally) 49.8% of the "delegate equivalents" for 24 pledged delegates at the Democratic National Convention; while Bernie Sanders had 49.8% of the "delegate equivalents" for 21 pledged delegates (Democrats in Iowa, for some reason, don't release the actual number of votes cast for each candidate in their complicated caucusing processes — but it' assumed by most informed people that Bernie Sanders had overwhelming won the popular vote last night — in the same way he won all the online polls.
At the Huff Post, who is currently tracking 81 polls from 25 pollsters (see the chart further below), it shows that Bernie has been steadily trending UP in Iowa — all while Hillary had been steadily trending DOWN. So it could also be argued that, if the Iowa caucuses had been held a week later, Bernie may have easily won by the same margin that Hillary might have last night (NBC News is only saying Hillary "apparently" won).
But Hillary's campaign wants us to believe that Americans are being inspired and enthused by Hillary Clinton, when all the evidence shows exactly the opposite — as the New Yorker wrote:
Speaking on CNN as it got late, David Axelrod, President Obama’s former campaign manager, made an acute point. One of Hillary’s problems is that her campaign is largely about her — her experience, her electability, and her toughness. “I will keep doing what I have done my entire life,” she said in her non-victory speech. “I will keep standing up for you. I will keep fighting for you.” Sanders, on the other hand, rarely mentions himself in his speeches. His campaign is all about his message of taking America back from the billionaires. And, as Axelrod pointed out, it is often easier to inspire people, particularly young people, with an uplifting theme than with a résumé.
Below is how the Huffington Post recently reported the final results: