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Clinton Declared Victor In Iowa By Slimmest Of Margins

By aaroncynic in News on Feb 2, 2016 7:28PM

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.

After a long night of vote-counting, Hillary Clinton has been declared the official winner of the Iowa caucus, barely beating out Bernie Sanders by a margin of .2 percent. The AP reported Tuesday afternoon that final results show Clinton pulled in 49.9 percent of the vote.

“I have won and I have lost there, it is a lot better to win," Clinton told a crowd in Nashua, New Hampshire, just before the announcement, CNN reports.

The "virtual tie," as Sanders called it, gives Clinton 23 delegates from Iowa and Sanders 21. Due to the way the Democratic caucus rules work, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley receives no delegates from the state, and he has since suspended his campaign. According to the New York Times, a Democratic candidate needs 2,382 delegates to win the nomination.

Though it’s a small amount of delegates, it’s a major win for the Sanders campaign, as advisors and pundits expected Clinton to win by much more than a razor thin margin, which would’ve given her more momentum in New Hampshire, where Sanders is currently polling higher. A poll by the University of Massachusetts/Lowell Center For Public Opinion/7 News puts Sanders ahead of Clinton 2 to 1. The Vermont Senator, known for his firey rhetoric against establishment politics, seized on playing up the underdog-turned-victor last night, telling supporters:

"Nine months ago we came to this beautiful state. We had no political organization, no money, no name recognition and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States.”

The battle between the two will be hard fought in the coming months. Regardless of Monday night’s symbolic victory, Sanders has to compete with the head start Hillary got when a large portion of Democratic super-delegates pledged their support to her. A survey published by the AP in November showed that 359 of the 712 party elites planned on backing the former Secretary of State.

Given how close Monday night’s results in Iowa were, if Sanders can take New Hampshire and other key states like South Carolina, there could be a big upset of the Democratic establishment at the convention in July. If not, and Sanders ends up trailing in the polls, supporters can always hope that more races are decided like 6 precincts in Iowa last night—with a coin toss.

The real winners of the night might be these pundits, who slayed us with their jokes from the evening: