Over the last several days, the Iowa Caucus has dominated media headlines. Prospective Republican candidate Ted Cruz boasted a slight victory over Donald Trump, who had led the polls for almost the entire race.
At the same time, prospective Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders nearly beat Hillary Clinton in a contested race involving coin flips to determine the favor of some delegates. Ultimately, Clinton won by less than one percentage point.
The caucus casts doubts on some candidates’ election strategies. For instance, Martin O’Malley, running for the Democratic nomination, has now permanently suspended his campaign. Aspiring Republican candidate Mike Huckabee also ended his. Finally, rumors regarding the end of Ben Carson’s campaign gained traction after the caucus results became public, but these were later shown to be untrue.
However, what is important to realize is that the Iowa Caucus is not an incredibly significant moment in the presidential race. Rather, many argue the Iowa Caucus simply reflects local trends. Cruz’s victory doesn’t change Trump’s likelihood to win the New Hampshire Primary, for example. Sanders is still favored to win there, too.
The Iowa Caucus is only the beginning of a long race. With plenty of time left before the final election, people should get behind a candidate who aligns with their philosophy and not jump to anyone just because of their apparent electability. After all, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan all lost the Iowa Caucus — but all of them went on to become notable presidents.