For GOP, Hard Slog Wins Out - For Dems, Coin Flips and Consternation

Feb 3, 2016

Billionaire Donald Trump may have dominated media coverage of the caucus campaign, but when voters finally had the chance to weigh-in, it was retail politics and campaigning, including visits to all 99 counties, that won the day for Texas Senator Ted Cruz. That's according to Kathie Obradovich, political columnist for  The Des Moines Register.

"It was still the shoe leather and the hard slog across Iowa that won out, and I think that's good for the caucuses, she says. "It was still the shoe leather and the hard slog across Iowa that won out, and I think that's good for the caucuses."

Cruz defeated Trump in the Republican caucuses, despite the billionaire's private jet, helicopter rides at the Iowa State Fair and media savvy.

On the Democratic side, the party finally reported 100% of precinct results at 11:45 a.m. the morning after the caucuses, declaring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the winner by a margin of 3.77 delegates. The vote was so close, that in some precincts a coin flip was used to determine which candidate received county delegates.

The coin flip does not impact the total of delegate equivalents used to determine the winner on caucus night, but it still has people shaking their heads.

"The happiest people in Iowa right now are the Republicans who messed up the caucus reporting in 2012, because this is going to be a headache for Democrats for a long time," says Kay Henderson, News Director for Radio Iowa.

In this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks over caucus results with Obradovich, Henderson and IPR's Clay Masters. 

Masters says it's been a question of momentum versus organization in both party's contests for months. In the end it seems organization won out. During this conversation, Kieffer also takes listener calls about their caucus experiences.