2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses

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Iowa Democratic caucuses, 2016

← 2008 February 1, 2016 (2016-02-01) 2020 →
  Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg Bernie Sanders September 2015 cropped.jpg
Candidate Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders
Home state New York Vermont
Delegate count 23 21
Percentage 49.84% 49.59%

Iowa Democratic presidential caucus election, 2016.svg
Iowa results by county
  Hillary Clinton
  Bernie Sanders
  Tie

The 2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses took place on February 1 in the U.S. state of Iowa, traditionally marking the Democratic Party's first nominating contest in their series of presidential primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The Republican Party held its own Iowa caucuses on the same day.

Despite a late challenge, Hillary Clinton was able to defeat Bernie Sanders in the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucus by the closest margin in the history of the contest: 49.8% to 49.6% (Clinton collected 700.47 state delegate equivalents to Sanders' 696.92, a difference of one quarter of a percentage point).[1] The victory, which was projected to award her 23 pledged national convention delegates (two more than Sanders), made Clinton the first woman to win the Caucus and marked a clear difference from 2008, where she finished in third place behind Obama and John Edwards.[2][3][4][5] Martin O'Malley suspended his campaign after a disappointing third-place finish with only 0.5% of the state delegate equivalents awarded, leaving Clinton and Sanders the only two major candidates in the race.[6] 171,517 people participated in the 2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses.[7]

Hillary Clinton launched her campaign in Iowa, April 2015
Bernie Sanders campaigns in Iowa in January 2016
Sanders supporters in Iowa, January 31, 2016

Procedure[edit]

There was no ballot; instead, a unique form of debate and groupings chose delegates to county conventions supporting Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, and Bernie Sanders. The Iowa Democratic Party did not release vote counts or the numbers of these delegates. Instead, they released the estimated amount of state delegates supporting each candidate.[8] The county conventions selected delegates to district and state conventions, which in turn selected the delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The delegates at the county, district and state conventions were not pledged and were allowed to change their preference, meaning that the final result of the state delegates could have been different from what was estimated at the Iowa precinct caucuses.

Delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention were selected at district and state conventions. The First and Second congressional districts received 8 district delegates, the Third received 7 and the Fourth received 6. These district delegates were elected at the District Conventions based on the result in each Congressional District.[9]

At the State Convention, the 15 statewide pledged delegates were elected based on the statewide results. 9 of these delegates were At-Large and 6 were Party Leaders and Elected Officials (PLEO) who were pledged based on the proportion of At-Large delegates supporting candidates. The Iowa delegation also included 8 superdelegates who were not pledged based on the result of the caucus process, which included 1 U.S. Representative and 7 Democratic National Committee members.[9]

Debates and forums[edit]

November 2015 debate in Des Moines[edit]

On November 14, 2015, the Democratic Party held a second presidential debate at the Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Hosted by CBS News Political Director John Dickerson, it aired on CBS News and was also broadcast by KCCI and The Des Moines Register. With the remaining candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley participating, it was the first debate to be broadcast over nationwide network television, the previous debate having gone over cable.[10]

As the day before the debate, November 13, was the day of the November 2015 Paris attacks, CBS announced that the debate would focus on foreign policy and terrorism.[11] In addition, a moment of silence was held at the beginning of the debate in memory of the victims.

January 2016 forum in Des Moines[edit]

On January 11, 2016 the "Black and Brown" forum was held at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Focusing on minority issues, it aired on Fusion.[12]

Opinion polling[edit]

Poll source Date 1st 2nd Other
Caucus results February 1, 2016 Hillary Clinton
49.9%
Bernie Sanders
49.6%
Martin O'Malley 0.6%
Emerson College[13]
Margin of error: ± 5.6%
Sample size: 300
January 29–31, 2016 Hillary Clinton
51%
Bernie Sanders
43%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Undecided 2%
Quinnipiac University[14]
Margin of error: ± 3.2%
Sample size: 919
January 25–31, 2016 Bernie Sanders
49%
Hillary Clinton
46%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Undecided 2%
Des Moines Register– Bloomberg–Selzer[15]
Margin of error: ± 4%
Sample size: 602
January 26–29, 2016 Hillary Clinton
45%
Bernie Sanders
42%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Undecided or Not Committed 9%
Public Policy Polling[16]

Margin of error ± 3.4%
Sample size: 851

January 26–27, 2016 Hillary Clinton
48%
Bernie Sanders
40%
Martin O'Malley 7%
No preference 5%
Gravis Marketing[17]

Margin of error ± 3%
Sample size: 810

January 26–27, 2016 Hillary Clinton
53%
Bernie Sanders
42%
Martin O'Malley 5%
No preference 0%
Monmouth University[18]

Margin of error ± 4.4%
Sample size: 504

January 23–26, 2016 Hillary Clinton
47%
Bernie Sanders
42%
Martin O'Malley 6%
Undecided 5%
American Research Group[19]

Margin of error ± 5.0%
Sample size: 400

January 21–24, 2016 Bernie Sanders
48%
Hillary Clinton
45%
Martin O'Malley 3%
No preference 4%
Quinnipiac University[20]

Margin of error: ± 4%
Sample size: 606

January 18–24, 2016 Bernie Sanders
49%
Hillary Clinton
45%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Undecided 2%
ISU/WHO-HD[21]

Margin of error: ±
Sample size: 356

January 5–22, 2016 Hillary Clinton
47%
Bernie Sanders
45%
Martin O'Malley <1%
Undecided 7%
Fox News[22]

Margin of error ± 4.5%
Sample size: 432

January 18–21, 2016 Hillary Clinton
48%
Bernie Sanders
42%
Martin O'Malley 3%
No preference 7%
YouGov/CBS News[23]

Margin of error ± 8.9%
Sample size: 906

January 17–21, 2016 Bernie Sanders
47%
Hillary Clinton
46%
Martin O'Malley 5%
No preference 2%
Emerson College Polling Society[24]

Margin of error: ± 5.9%
Sample size: 271

January 18–20, 2016 Hillary Clinton
52%
Bernie Sanders
43%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Undecided 2%
CNN/ORC[25]

Margin of error: ± 6%
Sample size: 280

January 15–20, 2016 Bernie Sanders
51%
Hillary Clinton
43%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Undecided 2%
Monmouth College/KBUR[26]

Margin of error: ± 4.1%
Sample size: 500

January 18–19, 2016 Hillary Clinton
47.7%
Bernie Sanders
39.3%
Martin O'Malley 7.4%
Undecided 5%
Loras College[27]

Margin of error: ± 4.4%
Sample size: 580

January 8–10, 2016 Hillary Clinton
46%
Bernie Sanders
40%
Martin O'Malley 8%
Undecided 5%
Public Policy Polling[28]

Margin of error: ± 4.1%
Sample size: 580

January 8–10, 2016 Hillary Clinton
46%
Bernie Sanders
40%
Martin O'Malley 8%
Undecided 5%
Bloomberg/DMR[29]

Margin of error: ± 4.4%
Sample size: 503

January 7–10, 2016 Hillary Clinton
42%
Bernie Sanders
40%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Other/Undecided 14%
American Research Group[30]

Margin of error: ± 4.0%
Sample size: 600

January 6–10, 2016 Bernie Sanders
47%
Hillary Clinton
44%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Undecided 5%
Quinnipiac University[31]

Margin of error: ± 4.4%
Sample size: 492

January 5–10, 2016 Bernie Sanders
49%
Hillary Clinton
44%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Undecided 3%
Mason-Dixon/AARP[32]

Margin of error: ±
Sample size: 503

January 4–8, 2016 Hillary Clinton
49%
Bernie Sanders
42%
Martin O’Malley 5%
Not Reported 4%
NBC News/WSJ/Marist[33]

Margin of error: ± 4.8%
Sample size: 422

January 2–7, 2016 Hillary Clinton
48%
Bernie Sanders
45%
Martin O’Malley 5%
Undecided 3%
Polls in 2015
Poll source Date 1st 2nd Other
Gravis Marketing[34]

Margin of error ± 5%
Sample Size: 418

December 18–21, 2015 Hillary Clinton
49%
Bernie Sanders
31%
Martin O'Malley 10%
Unsure 10%
YouGov/CBS News[35]

Margin of error ± 5.3%
Sample Size: 1252

December 14–17, 2015 Hillary Clinton
50%
Bernie Sanders
45%
Martin O'Malley 4%
No preference 1%
Public Policy Polling[36]

Margin of error: ± 4.3%
Sample Size: 526

December 10–13, 2015 Hillary Clinton
52%
Bernie Sanders
34%
Martin O'Malley 7%
Undecided 6%
Quinnipiac University[37]

Margin of error: ± 3.6%
Sample Size: 727

December 4–13, 2015 Hillary Clinton
51%
Bernie Sanders
40%
Martin O'Malley 6%
Undecided 3%
Fox News[38]

Margin of error: ± 5.0%
Sample Size: 357

December 7–10, 2015 Hillary Clinton
50%
Bernie Sanders
36%
Martin O'Malley 5%
Other 4%
Undecided 10%
Loras College[39]

Margin of error: ± 4.4
Sample Size: 501

December 7–10, 2015 Hillary Clinton
59%
Bernie Sanders
27%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Undecided 10%
Des Moines Register/Bloomberg/Selzer[40]

Margin of error ± 4.9%
Sample Size: 404

December 7–10, 2015 Hillary Clinton
48%
Bernie Sanders
39%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Undeicded 8%
Monmouth[41] Margin of error ± 4.9%

Sample Size: 405

December 3–6, 2015 Hillary Clinton
55%
Bernie Sanders
33%
Martin O'Malley 6%
CNN/ORC[41] Margin of error ± 4.5%


Sample Size: 442

November 28 – December 6, 2015 Hillary Clinton
54%
Bernie Sanders
36%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Quinnipiac University[42]

Margin of error ± 4.2%
Sample Size: 543

November 16–22, 2015 Hillary Clinton
51%
Bernie Sanders
42%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Undecided 3%
YouGov/CBS News[43]

Margin of error ± 7.6%
Sample Size: 602

November 15–19, 2015 Hillary Clinton
50%
Bernie Sanders
44%
Martin O'Malley 5%
Undecided 1%
CNN/ORC[44]

Margin of error ± 4.5%
Sample Size: 498

October 29 – November 4, 2015 Hillary Clinton
55%
Bernie Sanders
37%
Martin O'Malley 3%
None 1%
No Opinion 3%
Gravis Marketing/One America News Network[45]

Margin of error ± 3.0%
Sample Size: 272

October 30 – November 2, 2015 Hillary Clinton
57.1%
Bernie Sanders
24.8%
Martin O'Malley 2.9%
Not Sure 15.2%
Public Policy Polling[46]

Margin of error ± 3.9%
Sample Size: 615

October 30 – November 1, 2015 Hillary Clinton
57%
Bernie Sanders
25%
Martin O'Malley 7%
Lawrence Lessig 1%
Not Sure 9%
KBUR-Monmouth[47]

Margin of error: ± 3.76%
Sample size: 681

October 29–31, 2015 Hillary Clinton
45.8%
Bernie Sanders
31.7%
Martin O'Malley 5.4%
Undecided 17.0%
Monmouth University[48]

Margin of error ± 3.76%
Sample size: 681

October 29–31, 2015 Hillary Clinton
45.8%
Bernie Sanders
31.7%
Martin O'Malley 5.4%
Undecided 17%
Monmouth University[49]

Margin of error ± 4.9%
Sample size: 400

October 22–25, 2015 Hillary Clinton
65%
Bernie Sanders
24%
Martin O'Malley 5%
Lawrence Lessig 1%
Undecided 5%
YouGov/CBS News[50]

Margin of error ± 6.9%
Sample size: 555

October 15–22, 2015 Hillary Clinton
46%
Bernie Sanders
43%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Lincoln Chafee 1%
Lawrence Lessig 0%
No preference 7%
Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics[51]

Margin of error ± 4.9%
Sample size: 402

October 16–19, 2015 Hillary Clinton
48%
Bernie Sanders
41%
Martin O'Malley 2%
Jim Webb 1%
Lincoln Chafee 1%
Uncommited 3%
Not Sure 4%
NBC News/WSJ/Marist[52]

Margin of error: ± 5.3%
Sample size: 348

September 23–30, 2015 Hillary Clinton
33%
Bernie Sanders
28%
Joe Biden 22%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Jim Webb 1%
Lincoln Chafee <1%
Undecided 12%
Hillary Clinton
47%
Bernie Sanders
36%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Jim Webb 1%
Lincoln Chafee <1%
Undecided 13%
Public Policy Polling[53]

Margin of error ± 4.4%
Sample size: 494

September 18–20, 2015 Hillary Clinton
43%
Bernie Sanders
22%
Joe Biden 17%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Jim Webb 3%
Lincoln Chafee 2%
Lawrence Lessig 0%
Undecided 9%
YouGov/CBS News[54]

Margin of error ± 6.6%
Sample size: 646

September 3–10, 2015 Bernie Sanders
43%
Hillary Clinton
33%
Joe Biden 10%
No preference 7%
Martin O'Malley 5%
Lincoln Chafee 1%
Jim Webb 1%
Quinnipiac University[55]

Margin of error: ± 3.4%
Sample size: 832

Posted September 10, 2015 Bernie Sanders
41%
Hillary Clinton
40%
Joe Biden 12%
Martin O'Malley 3%
NBC News/Marist Poll[56]

Margin of error: ± 5.3%
Sample size: 345

Published September 6, 2015 Hillary Clinton
38%
Bernie Sanders
27%
Joe Biden 20%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Jim Webb 2%
Lincoln Chafee 1%
Undecided 8%
Hillary Clinton
48%
Bernie Sanders
37%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Jim Webb 2%
Lincoln Chafee 1%
Undecided 8%
Loras College[57]

Margin of error ± 4.37%
Sample size: 502

August 24–27, 2015 Hillary Clinton
48.2%
Bernie Sanders
22.9%
Joe Biden 16.3%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Lincoln Chafee 0.6%
Jim Webb 0.4%
Undecided 6.4%
Selzer & Co. of Des Moines[58]

Margin of error: ± 4.9%
Sample size: 404

August 23–26, 2015 Hillary Clinton
43%
Bernie Sanders
35%
Martin O'Malley 5%
Jim Webb 2%
Lincoln Chafee 1%
Not sure 8%
Uncommitted 6%
Hillary Clinton
37%
Bernie Sanders
30%
Joe Biden 14%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Jim Webb 2%
Lincoln Chafee 1%
Not sure 8%
Uncommitted 6%
Suffolk University[59]

Margin of error: ± 4.4%
Sample size: 500

August 20–24, 2015 Hillary Clinton
54%
Bernie Sanders
20%
Joe Biden 11%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Jim Webb 1%
Lincoln Chafee 0%
Undecided 9%
CNN/ORC[60]

Margin of error: ± 4.5%
Sample size: 429

August 7–11, 2015 Hillary Clinton
50%
Bernie Sanders
31%
Joe Biden 12%
Martin O'Malley 1%
Jim Webb 1%
Lincoln Chafee 0%
Not sure 11%
Public Policy Polling[61]

Margin of error: ± 4.1%
Sample size: 567

August 7–9, 2015 Hillary Clinton
52%
Bernie Sanders
25%
Martin O'Malley 7%
Jim Webb 3%
Lincoln Chafee 1%
Not sure 11%
NBC News/Marist[62]

Margin of error: ± 5.5%
Sample size: 320

July 14–21, 2015 Hillary Clinton
49%
Bernie Sanders
25%
Joe Biden 10%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Jim Webb 1%
Lincoln Chafee <1%
Undecided 11%
We Ask America[63]

Margin of error: 3.07%
Sample size: 1,022

June 27–29, 2015 Hillary Clinton
63%
Bernie Sanders
20%
Martin O'Malley 5%
Jim Webb 3%
Lincoln Chafee 1%
Undecided 8%
Quinnipiac University[64]

Margin of error: 3.6%
Sample size: 761

June 20–29, 2015 Hillary Clinton
52%
Bernie Sanders
33%
Joe Biden 7%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Jim Webb 1%
Lincoln Chafee 0%
Undecided 5%
Bloomberg

Margin of error: 4.9%
Sample size: 401

June 19–22, 2015 Hillary Clinton
50%
Bernie Sanders
24%
Martin O'Malley 2%
Lincoln Chafee 0%
Undecided 23%
Morning Consult

Margin of error: ?
Sample size: 322

May 31 – June 8, 2015 Hillary Clinton
54%
Bernie Sanders
12%
Joe Biden 9%
Martin O'Malley 1%
Jim Webb 1%
Lincoln Chafee 0%
Other 3%
Undecided 20%
Gravis Marketing

Margin of error: ± 5.0%
Sample size: 434

May 28–29, 2015 Hillary Clinton
59%
Bernie Sanders
15%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Jim Webb 2%
Bill DeBlasio 2%
Lincoln Chafee 1%
Unsure 17%
Bloomberg/Des Moines

Margin of error: ± 4.7%
Sample size: 437

May 25–29, 2015 Hillary Clinton
57%
Bernie Sanders
16%
Joe Biden 8%
Martin O'Malley 2%
Jim Webb 2%
Uncommitted 6%
Not sure 8%
Quinnipiac University

Margin of error: ± 3.7%
Sample size: 692

April 25 – May 4, 2015 Hillary Clinton
60%
Bernie Sanders
15%
Joe Biden 11%
Martin O'Malley 3%
Jim Webb 3%
Lincoln Chafee 0%
Undecided 7%
Public Policy Polling

Margin of error: ± 4.5%
Sample size: 466

April 23–26, 2015 Hillary Clinton
62%
Bernie Sanders
14%
Martin O'Malley 6%
Jim Webb 3%
Lincoln Chafee 2%
Undecided 13%
Loras College

Margin of error: ± 4.4%
Sample size: 491

April 21–23, 2015 Hillary Clinton
57%
Elizabeth Warren
14.7%
Joe Biden 5.9%
Martin O'Malley 2.4%
Bernie Sanders 2%
Jim Webb 1.2%
Lincoln Chafee 0%
Undecided 16.7%
Quinnipiac

Margin of error: ± 3.9%
Sample size: 619

February 16–23, 2015 Hillary Clinton
61%
Elizabeth Warren
19%
Joe Biden 7%
Bernie Sanders 5%
Jim Webb 2%
Martin O'Malley 0%
Undecided 6%
NBC News/Marist

Margin of error: ± 5.5%
Sample size: 321

February 3–10, 2015 Hillary Clinton
68%
Joe Biden
12%
Bernie Sanders 7%
Jim Webb 1%
Martin O'Malley <1%
Undecided 12%
Selzer & Co.

Margin of error: ± 4.9%
Sample size: 401

January 26–29, 2015 Hillary Clinton
56%
Elizabeth Warren
16%
Joe Biden 9%
Bernie Sanders 5%
Jim Webb 3%
Martin O'Malley 1%
Uncommitted 4%
Not sure 6%
Loras College

Margin of error: ± 6.06%
Sample size: 261

January 21–26, 2015 Hillary Clinton
48.3%
Elizabeth Warren
16.5%
Joe Biden 12.6%
Bernie Sanders 3.8%
Jim Webb 2.3%
Martin O'Malley 0.4%
Undecided 16.1%
Polls in 2014
Poll source Date 1st 2nd Other
Fox News

Margin of error: ± 5%
Sample size: 352

October 28–30, 2014 Hillary Clinton
62%
Elizabeth Warren
14%
Joe Biden 10%
Andrew Cuomo 2%
Martin O'Malley 2%
Other 1%
None of the above 2%
Don't know 6%
Reuters/Ipsos

Margin of error: ± ?
Sample size: 552

October 23–29, 2014 Hillary Clinton
60%
Elizabeth Warren
17%
Joe Biden 4%
Andrew Cuomo 3%
Bernie Sanders 2%
Kirsten Gillibrand 1%
Martin O'Malley 1%
Wouldn't vote 12%
Selzer & Co.

Margin of error: ± 4.8%
Sample size: 426

October 1–7, 2014 Hillary Clinton
53%
Elizabeth Warren
10%
Joe Biden 9%
John Kerry 7%
Bernie Sanders 3%
Andrew Cuomo 1%
Brian Schweitzer 1%
Jim Webb 1%
Martin O'Malley 0%
Uncommitted 3%
Not sure 12%
CNN/ORC

Margin of error: ± 5.5%
Sample size: 309

September 8–10, 2014 Hillary Clinton
53%
Joe Biden
15%
Elizabeth Warren 7%
Bernie Sanders 5%
Andrew Cuomo 3%
Martin O'Malley 2%
Deval Patrick 1%
Someone else 1%
None/No opinion 15%
Suffolk

Margin of error: ± 7.09%
Sample size: 191

August 23–26, 2014 Hillary Clinton
66.49%
Elizabeth Warren
9.95%
Joe Biden 7.85%
Andrew Cuomo 4.19%
Martin O'Malley 2.09%
Undecided 7.85%
NBC News/Marist

Margin of error: ± 4.2%
Sample size: 539

July 7–13, 2014 Hillary Clinton
70%
Joe Biden
20%
Undecided 10%
Vox Populi Polling

Margin of error: ± 6.6%
Sample size: 223

June 4–5, 2014 Hillary Clinton
65%
Joe Biden
18%
Elizabeth Warren 12%
Andrew Cuomo 3%
Martin O'Malley 2%
Public Policy Polling

Margin of error: ±5.2%
Sample size: 356

May 15–19, 2014 Hillary Clinton
59%
Joe Biden
12%
Elizabeth Warren 11%
Cory Booker 3%
Andrew Cuomo 3%
Mark Warner 2%
Kirsten Gillibrand 1%
Martin O'Malley 1%
Brian Schweitzer 1%
Someone else/Not sure 8%
Joe Biden
34%
Elizabeth Warren
22%
Andrew Cuomo 7%
Cory Booker 4%
Kirsten Gillibrand 3%
Martin O'Malley 2%
Brian Schweitzer 1%
Mark Warner 1%
Someone else/Not sure 26%
Elizabeth Warren
31%
Andrew Cuomo
14%
Cory Booker 9%
Kirsten Gillibrand 5%
Martin O'Malley 2%
Mark Warner 2%
Brian Schweitzer 1%
Someone else/Not sure 36%
The Daily Caller/Vox Populi Polling

Margin of error: ± 6.8%
Sample size: 204

April 22–24, 2014 Hillary Clinton
71%
Joe Biden
13%
Elizabeth Warren 10%
Andrew Cuomo 3%
Brian Schweitzer 2%
Martin O'Malley 1%
Suffolk

Margin of error: ± 8.4%
Sample size: 135

April 3–8, 2014 Hillary Clinton
62.96%
Elizabeth Warren
11.85%
Joe Biden 9.63%
Mark Warner 1.48%
Andrew Cuomo 0.74%
Deval Patrick 0.74%
Cory Booker 0%
Undecided 11.85%
Public Policy Polling

Margin of error: ±5.4%
Sample size: 335

February 20–23, 2014 Hillary Clinton
67%
Joe Biden
12%
Elizabeth Warren 5%
Mark Warner 3%
Andrew Cuomo 2%
Cory Booker 1%
Kirsten Gillibrand 0%
Martin O'Malley 0%
Brian Schweitzer 0%
Someone Else/Undecided 10%
Joe Biden
40%
Elizabeth Warren
13%
Andrew Cuomo 8%
Martin O'Malley 5%
Cory Booker 2%
Kirsten Gillibrand 2%
Mark Warner 2%
Brian Schweitzer 1%
Someone Else/Undecided 28%
Elizabeth Warren
21%
Andrew Cuomo
11%
Cory Booker 8%
Martin O'Malley 6%
Kirsten Gillibrand 3%
Brian Schweitzer 2%
Mark Warner 2%
Someone Else/Undecided 47%
Polls in 2013
Poll source Date 1st 2nd Other
Cygnal

Margin of error: ±2.1%
Sample size: 2,175

July 10–12, 2013 Hillary Clinton
55.6%
Joe Biden
7.8%
Elizabeth Warren 5%
Andrew Cuomo 1.1%
Kirsten Gillibrand 0.5%
Martin O'Malley 0.2%
Unsure 29.7%
Public Policy Polling

Margin of error: ±6.1%
Sample size: 260

July 5–7, 2013 Hillary Clinton
71%
Joe Biden
12%
Elizabeth Warren 5%
Kirsten Gillibrand 2%
Mark Warner 2%
Cory Booker 1%
Andrew Cuomo 1%
Martin O'Malley 1%
Brian Schweitzer 0%
Someone Else/Undecided 5%
Joe Biden
51%
Elizabeth Warren
16%
Andrew Cuomo 9%
Cory Booker 6%
Kirsten Gillibrand 2%
Martin O'Malley 2%
Mark Warner 1%
Brian Schweitzer 0%
Someone Else/Undecided 13%
Elizabeth Warren
20%
Andrew Cuomo
18%
Cory Booker 12%
Kirsten Gillibrand 7%
Martin O'Malley 4%
Brian Schweitzer 3%
Mark Warner 2%
Someone Else/Undecided 33%
McKeon & Associates

Margin of error: ±3.9%
Sample size: 247

April 18, 2013 Hillary Clinton
43%
Joe Biden
27%
Andrew Cuomo 11%
Other 9%
Undecided 10%
Public Policy Polling

Margin of error: ±5.5%
Sample size: 313

February 1–3, 2013 Hillary Clinton
68%
Joe Biden
21%
Andrew Cuomo 2%
Mark Warner 2%
Elizabeth Warren 2%
Deval Patrick 1%
Kirsten Gillibrand 0%
Martin O'Malley 0%
Brian Schweitzer 0%
Someone Else/Undecided 3%
Joe Biden
58%
Andrew Cuomo
13%
Elizabeth Warren 7%
Kirsten Gillibrand 6%
Deval Patrick 3%
Mark Warner 2%
Brian Schweitzer 1%
Martin O'Malley 0%
Someone Else/Undecided 11%
Andrew Cuomo
26%
Elizabeth Warren
17%
Martin O'Malley 8%
Kirsten Gillibrand 5%
Deval Patrick 3%
Brian Schweitzer 2%
Mark Warner 2%
Someone Else/Undecided 37%
Harper Polling

Margin of error:
Sample size: 183

January 29, 2013 Hillary Clinton
65.38%
Joe Biden
13.74%
Andrew Cuomo 3.85%
Undecided 17.03%


Results[edit]

e • d 2016 Democratic Party's presidential nominating process in Iowa
– Summary of results –
Candidate State delegate equivalents Estimated delegates
Count Percentage Pledged Unpledged Total
America Symbol.svg Hillary Clinton 700.47 49.84% 23 6 29
Bernie Sanders 696.92 49.59% 21 0 21
Martin O'Malley 7.63 0.54% 0 0 0
Uncommitted 0.46 0.03% 0 1 1
Total 1,405.48 100% 44 7 51
Source: The Green Papers, Iowa Democrats
Iowa Democratic county conventions, March 13, 2016
Candidate State delegates Estimated delegates
Count Percentage Pledged Unpledged Total
Hillary Clinton 704 50.07% 23 6 29
Bernie Sanders 700 49.79% 21 0 21
Martin O'Malley 1 0.07% 0 0 0
Uncommitted 1 0.07% 0 1 1
Total 1,406 100% 44 7 51
Source: Iowa Democrats
Iowa Democratic District conventions, April 30, 2016
Candidate State delegates Estimated delegates
Count Percentage Pledged Unpledged Total
Hillary Clinton 697 50.40% 23 6 29
Bernie Sanders 686 49.60% 21 0 21
Uncommitted 1 1
Total 1,383 100% 44 7 51
Source: Iowa Democrats
Iowa State Democratic Convention, June 18, 2016
Candidate State delegates Estimated delegates
Count Percentage Pledged Unpledged Total
Hillary Clinton 714 55.56% 23 6 29
Bernie Sanders 571 44.44% 21 0 21
Uncommitted 1 1
Total 1,285 100% 44 7 51
Source: Iowa Democrats

Following a poor result in the caucuses, Martin O'Malley announced he was suspending his campaign.[65]

Controversy[edit]

Results of the Iowa Democratic caucus, 2016
  Clinton—70-80%
  Clinton—60-70%
  Clinton—50-60%
  Clinton—<50%
  Tie between Clinton and Sanders
  Sanders—<50%
  Sanders—50-60%
  Sanders—60-70%
  Sanders—70-80%

"[O]rganizational issues around the caucus", including difficulty identifying volunteers to "oversee individual precinct caucuses," contributed to a "disorganized process that lent itself to chaos and conspiracy theories" according to The Guardian.[66]

Both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns have flagged a very small number of concerns for us, and we are looking at them all on a case-by-case basis.

— Sam Lau, Iowa Democratic Party

After initially refusing to review caucus results, Iowa Democratic Party officials did end up "making updates where discrepancies have been found."[67] With "doubts about which Democratic candidate actually won the Iowa caucuses," there have been "fresh calls for the party to mirror the simple, secret-ballot method" the Republicans use. Stated Norm Sterzenbach, former Iowa Democratic Party executive director who oversaw five election cycles: "It's worth discussing again, but it's not as simple as it sounds."[68] It is said that Clinton won by the thinnest margin in the history of Iowa caucuses.

Instances[edit]

Iowa Democrats reported "discrepancies in caucus results" and confusion over the math of the delegate-awarding system. In Grinnell Ward 1, 19 delegates were awarded to Sanders and seven to Clinton on caucus night. The Iowa Democratic party later shifted one delegate from Sanders to Clinton, but did not notify the precinct secretary, who "only discovered that this happened the next day, when checking the precinct results in other parts of the county."[66]

Other reported discrepancies included:

  • the lone caucusgoer in Woodbury County No. 43, who voted for Sanders—but "final results state" Clinton won one county delegate and Sanders zero.
  • in Knoxville No. 3, where the count was 58 for Sanders and 52 for Clinton—but official results showed Clinton with five county delegates and Sanders with four.
  • the four delegates in Cedar Rapids No. 9 precinct who split evenly between Sanders and Clinton—but only 131 people signed in at the beginning of the caucus with two separate head counts showing 136 people voted.

In Des Moines No. 42, "after everyone had formed initial groups for their preferred candidate," a Clinton supporter addressed O'Malley supporters and undecideds, telling them "they could stay and realign or leave." Some mistakenly believed that meant voting was finished and left early without being counted.[69] In the same precinct, votes were still missing the morning after the caucus. Democrats "from that neighborhood scrambled to find party officials" to report that Sanders won by a margin of two delegates over Clinton. This narrowed Clinton's "excruciatingly close lead" even further—bringing the tally for "delegate equivalents" at that point to Clinton 699.57, Sanders 697.77.[70]

Coin tosses[edit]

The Des Moines Register reported "an unknown number" of county delegates awarded "after the flip of a coin." Sam Lau, a spokesman for the Iowa Democratic Party, said seven coin flips were reported through "the party's smartphone app"—but officials who reported county delegate totals via the app "weren't required to signify if the win was the result of a coin toss." Lau said Bernie Sanders won six of these. The paper identified "six coin flips through social media and one in an interview with a caucus participant"—with Clinton the apparent winner of six of these seven. Any overlap, or its impact on results, between the coin flips identified by the Register and those the party confirmed was not known.[71]

An Iowa Democratic Party official told NPR there were "at least a dozen tiebreakers" decided by a coin toss— and that "Sen. Sanders won at least a handful."[72]

Gone unmentioned so far is that even if Clinton won that Miracle Six — and there were no other coin tosses — it would make little difference in the outcome. That is, in part, because of the complicated way Iowa Democrats allocate their delegates — and what was being reported on election night and what wasn't.[73]

— Domenico Montanaro, NPR

Review[edit]

Sanders' campaign "launched" a review of the results of the caucuses, citing as "complicating factors" the "razor-thin margin", the "arcane" caucusing rules, the reporting delays from some precincts, and the reporting technology used. The campaign is rechecking results precinct-by-precinct, reviewing "math sheets or other paperwork" precinct chairs used and were supposed to return to party officials—then comparing these with results entered into the party's Microsoft app. Rania Batrice, a Sanders spokeswoman, challenged: "Let's compare notes. Let's see if they match."[74]

In an editorial, The Des Moines Register called for an audit of the results, declaring "What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period."[74] First noting that only two-tenths of a percent separated Sanders and Clinton and "much larger margins trigger automatic recounts in other states," they stated:

Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems. Too many of us, including members of the Register editorial board who were observing caucuses, saw opportunities for error amid Monday night's chaos.[74]

In lieu of "official paper records" the party had "declined to provide the campaign"—which would show individual precinct vote tallies before they were entered into the party's app the night of the caucuses—the Sanders' campaign was contacting each of its own precinct captains to reconstruct caucus results.[75] Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver said: "I think everybody has an interest in making it as accurate as possible", though "[a]s an empirical matter, we're not likely to ever know what the actual result was".[76]

Let's not blow this out of proportion. This is not the biggest deal in the world. We think, by the way, based on talking to our precinct captains, we may have at least two more delegates."[77]

— Bernie Sanders

Analysis[edit]

Iowa Caucus Winners – political cartoon by DonkeyHotey

Despite a late challenge from insurgent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whose populist economic message resonated with Iowa's progressive Democratic electorate,[according to whom?] Clinton eked out a 0.2-percentage-point victory in the first-in-the-nation caucus, edging out Sanders by only four state delegate equivalents. As The New York Times described, Sanders' near-tie with Clinton combined with Ted Cruz's Republican victory in the caucus demonstrated how the "2016 campaign has turned to easing the palpable frustrations of a large portion of white working-class Americans who believe that the country no longer works for them."[78]

According to entrance polls, Clinton won the white vote by a 49–46 margin against Sanders, with white voters comprising 91% of the Iowa electorate. She won non-white voters more resoundingly, 58–34. Sanders won among men, 50–44, but Clinton won women, 53-42. Sanders proved his immense strength with millennials by winning 17–29-year-olds 84-14, with Clinton winning senior citizens, 69–26. Clinton won among voters who had a high school diploma or less, and among those who had a postgraduate degree, while Sanders won voters with only a college degree. Sanders won 53-44 among voters who made an income of less than $50k per year, Clinton won more affluent voters 52-42. In terms of political party affiliation, Clinton won Democrats 56-39 but lost Independents to Bernie Sanders, 69–29.[79]

Clinton won in Des Moines rather resoundingly,[clarification needed] while Sanders won many of the more rural counties and the Quads. Sanders also won in the cities of Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, and Sioux City.

Upon learning she had been awarded the state of Iowa after 1 P.M. the following day, Clinton told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "My luck was not that good last time around, and it was wonderful to win the caucus, to have that experience." [80]

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