(CNN)Hillary Clinton declared victory early Tuesday morning in a razor-thin contest against Bernie Sanders in Iowa. But Democratic party officials have not yet declared a winner.
“Hillary Clinton has won the Iowa Caucus,” the Clinton campaign said. “After thorough reporting — and analysis — of results, there is no uncertainty and Secretary Clinton has clearly won the most national and state delegates.”
The state party indicated in a separate statement that it was not ready to make a call.
“The results tonight are the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history,” Iowa party chairman Andy McGuire said. “We will report that final precinct when we have confirmed those results with the chair.”
One thing is clear after Monday night’s Iowa caucuses: there’s a long, volatile election season ahead before two deeply fractured parties can unite behind a nominee.
Republican Ted Cruz bested Donald Trump, raising questions about the billionaire’s reliance on his celebrity instead of traditional political organization. And Marco Rubio‘s stronger-than-expected showing could mark him as the establishment’s best hope against a grassroots revolt in next week’s New Hampshire primary and beyond.
Cruz’s victory sets him up as a formidable force in delegate-rich, Southern states to come and offers movement conservatives hope that one of their own can become the Republican nominee for the first time since Ronald Reagan.
Claiming victory, Cruz fired immediate shots at both Trump and the party elites he has so infuriated by waging an anti-establishment crusade that has nevertheless endeared him to the GOP’s rank and file.
“Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and the next President of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment,” Cruz said.
With about 99% of the GOP vote in, Cruz was ahead of Trump 28% to 24%. Rubio was at 23%.