In Democratic and Republican Iowa caucuses, Senator Ted Cruz won the Iowa Republican caucus while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are tied as more than 96 percent of the votes are in the Democratic caucus.
Reuters reports that former Secretary of State Clinton and Senators Bernie Sanders each have roughly 50 percent of the Democratic vote, with Clinton receiving 49.9 percent and Sanders 49.6. However, Senator Cruz won by 28 percent, ahead of billionaire Donald Trump who had 24 percent of the vote and Senator Marco Rubio who secured 23 percent.
Martin O’Malley, the third candidate in the Democratic party, pulled out of the race as he got less than one percent of the vote.
Ted Cruz gave a victory speech soon after the results showed he defeated his closest competitors Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. “Tonight is a victory for courageous conservatives across Iowa and across this great nation,” the Republican candidate said.
As for the Democrats, the close tie has prompted the candidates to address their supporters as the vote results come in. Bernie Sanders said he was in a “virtual tie” with Hillary Clinton, thanking Iowans for voting for him.
"It is too late for establishment politics and establishment economics," Sanders said, adding that the 2016 elections were heralding a “political revolution” in the country.
"Iowa thank you!" says Sanders to huge applause. Says he is in a "virtual tie." Crowd roars. pic.twitter.com/2sWIBZrjIh— Danny Freeman (@DannyEFreeman) February 2, 2016
Analysts and researchers have explained Cruz’s victory by pointing to the fact that Cruz’s campaign purposefully appealed to conservative voters by touting his “values-based” platform. Two-thirds of caucus-goers were “born-again Christians,” according to a survey conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and other media.
"There is now blood in the water for Donald Trump," Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said, according to a Reuters report. "Ted Cruz proved he could successfully beat back Trump attacks because he had a great ground game and identified well with evangelical voters.".
The Iowa primaries are watched closely throughout the United States as wins in this state set the tone for the next presidential elections in New Hampshire. The presidential nominating caucuses take place in thousands of schools, churches, and other public institutions.
IN DEPTH: Road to the US Election 2016