So… crazy night last night, huh? If you were a Republican, you saw Ted Cruz pull a shocking upset over Donald Trump, and saw Marco Rubio come unbelievably close to coming in second. If you were a Democrat, you sat on pins and needles through out the evening as Bernie continued to close the gap between himself and Hillary, and likely went to bed without knowing who the winner of the caucus was.
I’m going to hold true to my traditional biases and speak a little bit more about the Democratic Primary. Last night reminded me a lot of 2012 on the Republican side. Results will show a near virtual tie between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and while the Iowa Democratic Party has declared Secretary Clinton the victor, there is the chance that after reviewing these results, that they could flip. I’d also be amiss if I didn’t mention the oddity that SIX! precincts were decided by the merits of a coin flip, with all six of those coin flips going in favor of Secretary Clinton. Based on the currently reported results, Secretary Clinton needed to win at least five of those coin flips in order to win the Iowa Caucus. She had just over a 3% chance of winning at least 5 of 6 coin flips.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the Bernie Sanders “victory” Party with two of my fellow College Democrats, Eugenia Huang and Madeline Coffey. This was the experience of a life time. I got to talk to fellow Bernie supporters, who were all energized in support of the campaign. I saw the smiles in the faces of so many people. At the event, we stood next to a couple of high school students, who were there with their aunt. They reminded me a lot of myself working for President Obama, while I was in 8th grade. While I’m still not sure this has reached the levels of Obama 2008, this is truly a grassroots campaign, which has really impressed me. Bernie Sanders has started something very interesting, and I’m curious to see what the results will indicate next Tuesday in New Hampshire (excited to be heading up there this weekend too!)
As someone who is really interested in the partisan side of politics, I’ve also been interested to see the spin that both campaigns have put on these results. I’m Facebook friends with College Democrats leaders from across the country (most of whom support Secretary Clinton). I’ve seen a clear message from supporters of Secretary Clinton that Bernie Sanders’s campaign is now doomed, and if I would have had to guess after looking at their posts, I would have thought Hillary won by 15 or 20 points. Looking at supporters from the Bernie campaign (most of whom I know from high school in Boone, NC or from the WFU College Democrats, but with a few College Democrats state and national leaders mixed in), their trying to spin last night as a virtual tie, but one which should help the Sanders campaign gain momentum moving into the next few primary states.
I’m clearly a supporter of Senator Sanders, so my biased opinion falls more along the lines of my fellow supporters, but I’ll be interested to see what the polls indicate in the first few days after the Iowa caucus. I think this was all closer than we thought was possible, and I’m not necessarily sure that this moves the needle in the Democratic primary.
I also like looking at what the campaigns shared after the fact. Within ten minutes of each other, I had emails in my inbox from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders soliciting donations as a result of the Iowa caucus results (ah politics…). See those emails below.
Looking forward? I believe a lot of Bernie supporters are going to be donating to the campaign today. After talking to fellow supporters last night. I think people understand the importance of this, and will make another small donation to the campaign. Because that’s what the Bernie campaign is about. This is a grassroots effort with over 3.5 million individual donations, where 99% of those donors can give to the campaign again. I’m proud to say I’m one of those donors. This morning I got up, and gave another three dollars to the Sanders campaign (my third donation to the campaign: $5, $25, $3).
I’m ready to fight moving forward, and after last night, I’m confident that other Bernie supporters are ready to dig their heals in and move forward in the Democratic Primary. Hearing cheers about fighting income inequality, excessive college debt, and mediating climate change, really gave me hope for the direction of our country. This is why I love working in politics.
Congrats to the Hillary campaign on their “victory”, but this race is a long way from being over. Plus, I can’t forget to remind people how every vote matters. If there would have been one more Bernie supporter in the two of the six precincts that their were coin flips in, we would have an entirely different narrative this morning.
Go Deacs, Go Blue!