Bernie Sanders: 'Iowa has begun a political revolution'

February 2, 2016
Video: Watch Bernie Sanders' full speech after Iowa caucuses. YouTube/PBSNewsHour.

In a speech to supporters on the night of February 1, after the narrowest of losses to Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses,, self-described democratic socialist candidate in the Democratic primaries Bernie Sanders hailed his strong result as the "launch of a political revoluiton".

In a dead heat race, former Secretary of State Clinton managed a win over Sanders by just 49.8% to 49.6%, TeleSUR English said on February 2..

Sanders has campaigned on a platform of defeating corporate domination and for reforms to improve the lot of the majority. He won 84% of the youth (under 30) vote in the first of Democratic primary caucuses and has smashed fundraising records, while refusing corporate donations and with an average contribution of just US$27.

TeleSUR English said Clinton's narrow 0.2% win prompted Sanders to call for a raw vote count on February 2 to definitively determine the outcome of the virtual tie between the two candidates.

Sanders' campaign team said they do not plan to contest the outcome, but would like more information about what happened in the vote. A raw vote count is typically not released in Iowa, but the socialist senator senator from Vermont said he the data to be made public.

Sanders said that while he hoped the vote count was “honest,” he said it was not clear which candidate won the popular vote in such a close race and urged that “as much information as possible should be made available”.

TeleSUr English said Sanders' campaign was still considering whether to request a recount.

The Democratic Party does not count paper ballots for the primary nomination, but caucuses to select the representative. With a deadlock tie between Clinton and Sanders in some precincts after caucus debates, six precincts tossed a coin to determine the winner. Clinton won all six tosses.

The dead heat came after Sanders made major advances in Iowa, where some polls had shown him at least 40 points behind the frontrunner candidate.

The Iowa caucuses also saw an unexpected victory for Republican candidate Ted Cruz, who pulled ahead of frontrunner Donald Trump.

The presidential nomination now moves to New Hampshire, where Clinton is expected to face a tougher race as Sanders leads in the polls. New Hampshire holds its primary next week.

Applauding the virtual tie as a significant accomplishment for his campaign, Sanders declared Iowa had launched a “political revolution”.

“I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment and, by the way, to the media establishment,” Sanders said in his speech before results were final during caucuses on the night of February 1.

Crucially, Sanders told supporters: "Let me conclude by saying what no other candidate for president will tell you. And that is that no president—not Bernie Sanders, not anybody else—will be able to bring about the changes that the working families and the middle class of this country, that our children, that the seniors, our seniors, deserve.

"No one president can do it, because the powers that be—Wall Street, with their endless supply of money; corporate America; the large campaign donors—are so powerful that no president can do what has to be done alone.

"And that is why what Iowa has begun tonight is a political revolution, a political revolution that says when millions of people come together, including those who have given up on the political process — they're so dismayed and so frustrated with what goes on in Washington — with young people who before had never been involved in the political process, when young people and working people and seniors begin to stand up and say loudly and clearly, 'Enough is enough,' that our government, the government of our great country, belongs to all of us and not just a handful of billionaires—when that happens, we will transform this country."

[Read the full transcript of Sanders speech. Largely compiled from TeleSUR English.]

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