5 Reasons Bernie Sanders Was the Real Winner of the Iowa Caucus

Bernie Sanders, Iowa speechSecretary Hillary Clinton has been declared the "apparent winner" of the Iowa Democratic caucuses -- but her win isn't all that "apparent" to those of us analyzing the results of the first primary event of the 2016 presidential election. Perhaps it is even safe to say that, despite the numbers, Senator Bernie Sanders and his "revolution" came out swinging as the real winner.

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Tuesday morning results show Clinton racking up 699.95 state delegate equivalents and Sanders winning 695.49 state delegate equivalents. Yes, there is an "apparent" winner in the numbers game, but in this "historically close Iowa Democratic caucus" (the Iowa Democratic Party chair's words, not mine), those numbers seem like a statistically negligible win ... especially when you consider how the caucus played out.

Here's why the caucus was really a win for #TeamBernie.

1. He didn't declare HIMSELF the winner.
I must be #FeelinTheBern badly because this speech -- in which Bernie announced a "virtual tie" with Clinton and congratulated her on her campaign -- got me chanting "enough is enough" with his supporters in Iowa. Meanwhile, Clinton told her supporters, prematurely, that she was "breathing a big sigh of relief" -- and, while she did not come out and declare herself a winner, her press secretary sort of did when he told reporters that they "believe strongly that we won" before the official vote was in. That's the spirit, Team Hillary!


2. There may be missing votes?!

Officially there was only one precinct with outstanding votes at the time the winner was called, but Sanders's campaign says that the Iowa Democratic Party admitted that results from 90 precincts were missing -- and that the party may have to "re-stage" the results in those precincts. I'm not sure what that really entails, but it seems like some sweet Florida hanging chad action is about to play out, à la the 2000 presidential campaign.

I mean, it's no wonder Sanders wants as much information released as possible on what that popular vote really was.


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3. Three out of four "coin toss" decisions went to Hillary Clinton.

As if the support of big business isn't enough, now Hillary Clinton has sheer gambling luck on her side. Sheesh. While it's an abomination that any of the precincts would choose delegates based on a coin toss, not only did the votes go to Clinton in three out of the four of the caucuses that relied on chance -- but this also really shows how evenly split support is for both candidates. Check out how politics really work in America:


4. His grassroots support deserves a win of its own.

"Nine months ago, we came to this beautiful state, we had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition, and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America," said Sanders, referring to the Clintons, during his "victory" speech in Iowa.

And the fund-raising numbers back him up. He went into the Iowa Caucus with aides saying that in January 770,000 individual donors (none of which even hit the $2,700 cap on what they could donate) contributed ... bringing his donations beyond $3.2 million. He's asked the super PACs (the ones made up of billionaires) not to support him. And, seriously, his campaign emails ask supporters to donate $3 (which is less than the cost of an iced coffee in NYC). It doesn't get more grassroots than that.

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5. No matter what, he's winning the future.
No, really. If the children are the future, then he is winning the actual future and changing the political landscape for generations to come. CNN's Iowa entrance poll showed that among voters ages 18 to 29, Sanders actually had 70 points more than Clinton. 70 points!

 

Yep, Bernie really is a future that we can believe in. Now he just really has to win.

 

Image via © Yin Bogu/Xinhua Press/Corbis

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