The first votes of 2016 have been cast, and the presidential campaign is in full swing.

Ethan Zakrewski, News Editors

On Monday night, voters in Iowa met at their county voting location for their preferred party in order to hear pitches from other voters and vote for who they feel is the best candidate for their party.

The Republican National Committee experienced a record number of voters with about 180,000 Republicans reporting to caucus locations. Prior to the caucus, political pundits predicted that a large voter turnout would virtually guarantee Donald Trump the victory. However, the pundits were wrong. Texas Senator Ted Cruz claimed the victory garnering 27% (approximately 50,000 people) of the vote. Trump came in second with 24.3% (about 45,000 people) of the vote. Florida Senator Marco Rubio rode a late surge known as “MarcoMentum” to outperform expectations and finish third with 23.1% (about 43,000) of the vote. All other GOP candidates garnered support of 10% or less of the population

The Democrats did not experience record turnout, but they did have a solid amount of turnout. The race between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton was expected to be close. Polls conducted prior to the caucus showed one of the candidates winning by a discernible but small margin. However, that did not happen. In fact, the caucus results were so close that many precincts with an odd number of electorates were decided by the flip of a coin. By the end of the night, Clinton claimed the victory with 49.9% of the votes, and Bernie Sanders was narrowly defeated, garnering 49.6% of the votes. Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley garnered less than .5% of the vote.

Since the conclusion of the Caucus, O’Malley, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee have all announced that they are dropping out of the race leaving a smaller field as we approach the New Hampshire primaries next week.