Last night, a total of six precincts in the razor thin Iowa Caucus results were decided by, no joke, a literal coin toss. As in, call it friend-o, heads or tails, who should be elected to one of the highest political offices in the world. All six of those precincts were won by Hillary Clinton.
The odds of this happening (1 in 64), are so miraculous that only Cormac McCarthy himself could have possibly foreseen it, especially in such a historically momentous situation as this one. I simply could not help but bring the novel and film No Country For Old Men to mind right away, with so many crucial events in that story being decided by both the literal and metaphorical toss of a coin. One has to hope though that Clinton doesn’t put those coins in her pocket, figuratively speaking, so they don’t get mixed up with her other coins and become just coins, even though that’s exactly what they are.
My love of Cormac McCarthy and the Coen Brothers aside, Hillary Clinton last night, as we all know, gave us not a “victory” speech, but rather a “sigh of relief” speech (which is honestly not that far removed from a “victory” speech if you really think about it), over the results of last night’s Iowa Caucus, despite doing so when 10 percent of the precincts had yet to be reported. Chuck Todd himself indicated that this move could have been “a bad mistake” for the candidate down the road.
It’s probably best to say that neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders really won or lost the caucus last night, generally speaking, as the final delegate count came out so close as to make the race a “virtual tie”, as Sanders himself declared in his speech last night.
The results however, by the slimmest of margins, do technically indicate that Hillary Clinton was the “projected winner” of the Caucus state, but one has to really wonder whether or not this can actually be considered a victory. It has already been noted by MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki that had Bernie Sanders won 3 of those coin tosses, the Vermont Senator would have the technical lead himself last night. Given that this has already been widely reported, even by mainstream media sources like MSNBC, it’s probably best for Clinton that she not treat this as any kind of real and clear victory, even if she technically has more delegates at this point.
Taking this miraculous coin toss scenario at face value, it is very easy for many to simply interpret this as nothing short of an amazing stroke of luck–of an almost divine nature if your beliefs are so inclined (mine aren’t, personally speaking)–for the former Secretary of State and by far DNC Superdelegate favorite. It’s a great bit of Monday night drama, no doubt, but one does have to seriously question whether or not it is appropriate for the democratic process of choosing an elected official, a process our founding fathers pretty much unequivocally decided has nothing to do with any seemingly divine or “miraculous” forces of chance, given that doing so would amount to superstition rather than the will and reason of the people at large. In a scenario such as this one, I would find it much more befitting to divide these six delegates by 3 among both candidates, to comply with the virtual tie. Again, my opinions.
Thankfully, however, Iowa is just the beginning in what is now guaranteed to be a long primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Going into New Hampshire, the first “primary state” in the race, Bernie Sanders is currently polling in double digits, making him largely favored to win that state next week.