Hillary Clinton narrowly won the Democratic caucuses in Iowa, edging out Bernie Sanders for the first victory in the 2016 race for the presidential nomination. Senator Ted Cruz beat off his fellow Republicans.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton beat off the challenge from the more radical Bernie Sanders. Clinton is set to receive 23 of Iowa's delegates, and Sanders will earn 21 delegates. There are 4,763 delegates to the Democratic National Convention, so it will require 2,382 delegates to win the nomination.
According to the final results announced by the Iowa Democratic Party, Clinton was awarded 700.59 state delegate equivalents, the terminology used in Iowa to represent candidates' share of the total caucus vote. Sanders was awarded 696.82 delegates.
"I can tell you, I've won and I've lost there and it's a lot better to win," Clinton said on Tuesday.
The Democratic Party announced that there would be no recount despite the close result. Sanders' spokesman said there would be no challenge to the result from their side.
In a statement, the Iowa Democratic Party called the caucus the closest in history, with some precincts flipping a coin to decide the winner. Clinton reportedly won all three of the coin tosses.
Young voters in Iowa overwhelmingly backed Sanders.
The next round is February 9 in New Hampshire, where Clinton is trailing Sanders in the polls. The 74-year-old Sanders is a senator from the neighboring state of Vermont. Delegates for Clinton and Sanders will ultimately cast ballots at the Democratic National Convention in July.
On the Republican side, Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in ahead of both billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is the favorite of the party mainstream. The result was a blow to the controversial Trump, who had headed the polls leading into the Iowa caucus.
But the next round is in New Hampshire, where more than 40 percent of the state's voters are not registered with any political party. Washington outsider Trump has a commanding lead in New Hampshire and in national polls. He promised on Tuesday to keep going "we will go on to easily beat Hillary or Bernie or whoever the hell they throw up," he said.
Establishment Republican candidates have been focusing on the New Hampshire primary. They include former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Ohio Governor John Kasich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Two candidates dropped out after Monday's votes: Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley ended his bid for the Democratic nomination, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee quit the Republican race.
jm/ng (AP, AFP)