Friday, January 4, 2008

Obama Sweeps Iowa Caucuses

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OTFS tracks the 2008 US Presidential Elections in association with CNN

Senator Barack Obama has won the Iowa Caucuses among Democrats, while Huckabee - arguably the candidate with the least funds - sweeped the Republican caucuses.

What are caucuses?

A caucus is a section of a political party that makes decisions. In this context, the Iowa caucuses is where sections of registered Republicans and Democrats (including Independents) come together and, in their own unique way, select a nominee for the post of US President. Each state and US territory does this until a national consensus is reached.

Democrats

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Among the Democrats, Barack Obama led the pack with 38% of votes, followed shockingly by John Edwards at 30% and Hillary Clinton at 29%. 100% of democrat votes have been counted. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who came fourth, said he would take his fight to New Hampshire.

In the Poll conducted by CNN, it was found that the youth of Iowa had voted overwhelmingly for Obama, while Clinton didn't even appear on the main tally.

The Iowa Caucuses saw a record 227,000 attendees.

 

Republicans

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92% of votes in Iowa counted. Graph shows (L-R): Huckabee 34%, Romney 25%, Thompson 13%, McCain 13%, Ron Paul 10% and Rudy Giuliani 4%.

The shocking victory of Huckabee in the Republican Iowa causes reflected on the need for change. Indeed, a CNN poll showed that 'change' was the word voters were looking for. Huckabee was vastly outspent by Romney, who poured millions of dollars into a sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation.

In all, 120,000 Republicans are said to have participated in the Iowa Caucuses.

 

Reactions

Barack Obama was rightfully delighted in his post-win speech, wherein he called the win "a defining moment in history." NDTV also reports that he raked up a little controversy by suggesting that he would actively end outsourcing of jobs to countries such as India.

"I am so ready for the rest of this campaign, and I am so ready to lead," Hillary Clinton said.

 

Implications

The Iowa caucuses DO NOT reflect the mood of the country nor do they even reflect the mood of the state, seeing as though less than 10% of the state's population actually voted. However, Obama and Huckabee's wins wil bolster their chances in the upcoming Primaries and Caucuses. However, as CNN's Jonnathan Mann points out, it has been observed that candidates that do well in the Iowa caucuses fair poorly in most other states.

 

Next Steps

Tuesday will see the first Primaries in New Hampshire, another small state. This will be followed by Nevada and other states until "Super Tuesday" Feb. 5, when 24 states hold their primaries.

OTFS with data from CNN

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