Hillary Clinton has been declared the winner by the Iowa Democratic Party. The razor-thin margin is basically a tie but Clinton edged out by fractions of a percent. Several precincts came down to a coin toss, which is not a joke or an exaggeration, they literally use a coin toss on the Democratic side to determine a winner in the event of a tie.
Report from CNN:
Hillary Clinton has won the Iowa Democratic caucuses, according to final results from the Iowa Democratic Party.
She just edges Bernie Sanders in the total of state delegate equivalents awarded Monday night.
“I am so thrilled,” Clinton told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday. “My luck was not that good last time around, and it was wonderful to win the caucus, to have that experience.”
But the narrow win, which follows a long night in which the two candidates remained deadlocked, means Clinton faces the prospect of an extended fight for the Democratic presidential nomination. She may have to wait until late February for a realistic chance to put a solid win in her column. Sanders holds a strong lead in New Hampshire, the next state to vote on February 9.
Amazingly, in at least six cases that we know of from Monday night, a coin toss was used to break a tie between Sanders and Clinton. In these six cases, Hillary Clinton won every single toss. That level of luck has many people wondering about the integrity of the process and whether there should be any “winner” declared on the Democratic side.
Report from the Des Moines Register on the coin toss process:
In a handful of Democratic caucus precincts Monday, a delegate was awarded with a coin toss.
It happened in precinct 2-4 in Ames, where supporters of candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton disputed the results after 60 caucus participants apparently disappeared from the proceedings.
As a result of the coin toss, Clinton was awarded an additional delegate, meaning she took five of the precinct’s eight, while Sanders received three.
Similar situations played out at various precincts across the state, but had an extremely small effect on the overall outcome, in which Clinton won 49.9 percent of statewide delegate equivalents, while Sanders won 49.5 percent. The delegates that were decided by coin flips were delegates to the party’s county conventions, of which there are thousands selected across the state from 1,681 separate precincts. They were not the statewide delegate equivalents that are reported in the final results.
They can claim that the coin tosses may not have affected the outcome, but why couldn’t they? In such a close race, just a handful of things have to break for one candidate to declare a victory. In this case, the delegates will basically be split between Sanders and Clinton so for one to be declared a “winner” doesn’t mean much in the overall race for the nomination.
New Hampshire and South Carolina just got a lot more interesting on the Democratic side.