The Iowa Democratic caucus is hanging by a hair with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton locked in a tight battle for victory with both candidates currently at 49%. As a result of his poor performance, Martin O’Malley has ended his campaign leaving the Democratic race down to just two candidates. Getting the official results to declare a winner on the Democratic side could literally take weeks as votes are counted and recounted. However, for Bernie Sanders, he can already count this a victory to be this close with Hillary Clinton in Iowa and currently standing as the heavy favorite in New Hampshire.
Report from ABCNews:
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were locked in a race for the Iowa caucuses that was too close to project, with 96 percent of precincts reporting Monday night.
The candidates were separated by less than 1 percent. Hillary Clinton led in delegates 27-2 with only two outstanding.
Early Tuesday morning, the Sanders campaign alleged that the Iowa Democratic Party “failed to adequately staff all the precincts,” an aide said.
“The campaign is very concerned there is now no way to verify the accuracy of the results in these precincts that are not reporting,” the aide added.
But the party insisted those claims were inaccurate. “We have reached out to the campaigns for help in contacting the chairs for our outstanding precincts,” a party official said. “We are not taking results from the campaigns. We are taking them from the chairs who are in these precincts.”
“There is so much at stake in this election, I don’t need to tell you,” Clinton said tonight. “Every single one of you who came out for me, who worked so many hours from my young organizers with energy and passion, to the families and friends across this state, I am deeply grateful.”
Hillary Clinton was up to forty or fifty points ahead in Iowa at one point. To come down to a dead heat too close to call speaks volumes for the campaign of Bernie Sanders. This race on the Democratic side is starting to look like it may drag into the spring. Both candidates will be meeting on Thursday for a debate at the University of New Hampshire sponsored by MSNBC.
More on O’Malley’s decision to drop out, report from the Des Moines Register:
Martin O’Malley dropped out of the presidential race Monday night after eight months of barnstorming Iowa failed to build grassroots support for his underdog candidacy.
The former Maryland governor spent more time in Iowa than either of his rivals during the 2016 election season. But he came in a distant third in Iowa’s Democratic caucuses and languished in the polls.
O’Malley’s wife, Katie, and their four children stood by him onstage Monday night at Wooly’s, a music venue in the East Village, for the announcement. More than 100 supporters stood in front of the stage cheering as he repeated lines from the campaign trail.
“Look, gang,” he said. “In conclusion, there is no conclusion. This fight continues. We fought very, very hard in order to give the people a choice, and the people have made their choice tonight. It was hard to get over that threshold here, and I know that those numbers don’t reflect all of the hard work that you did. But we have driven this debate.”
O’Malley’s departure is not surprising, he literally received zero percent of the delegate share on the Democratic side.