A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a specific political party or movement.
The term originated in the United States, but has spread to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Nepal.
The 2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses took place on February 1 in the U.S. state of Iowa, traditionally marking the Democratic Party’s first nominating contest in their series of presidential primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
The Republican Party held its own Iowa caucuses on the same day.
Despite a late challenge, Hillary Clinton was able to defeat Bernie Sanders in the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucus by the closest margin in the history of the contest: 49.8% to 49.6% (Clinton collected 700.47 state delegate equivalents to Sanders’ 696.92, a difference of one quarter of a percentage point).
The victory, which was projected to award her 23 pledged national convention delegates (two more than Sanders), made Clinton the first woman to win the Caucus and marked a clear difference from 2008, where she finished in third place behind Obama and John Edwards.
Martin O’Malley suspended his campaign after a disappointing third-place finish with only 0.5% of the state delegate equivalents awarded, leaving Clinton and Sanders the only two major candidates in the race. It’s been reported that 171,517 people participated in the 2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses.
In the Iowa Republican caucuses, Ted Cruz was able to defeat Donald Trump by winning over evangelical and libertarian caucus-goers; Cruz won 51,666 caucus votes or 27.6%, giving him a net gain of one delegate over Trump. Mike Huckabee, the 2008 Iowa Caucus winner, dropped out following a poor performance in the caucus.