For months on end we have maintained a singular focus on the oft and otherwise overlooked Hawkeye State of Iowa as its residents were targeted at county fairs, in diners and at coffee shops by purposefully gleeful candidates. Meanwhile, the rest of us watched every step in anticipation of Iowa’s signal to the nation as Republican rancor became the topic of discussion and misplaced Democratic dialogues filled our screens due to the DNC’s cunning choice of scheduled debate options. Yet, in spite of it all, Bernie has soared, Trump has sobered up a bit, and the suspense finally came to an end Monday night as Iowa fulfilled its indispensable place in our political process.

Keeping to custom, social media tuned in and provided entertaining commentary as a backdrop to last night’s nail biter.

To the surprise of none, Trump came in second place.

Sure, you may have let your nerves and those projected polls get the best of you leading up to Monday night’s contest, but most held fast to their faith in the political process and believed that goodness would prevail.

I use that term lightly, however, because Ted Cruz is not necessarily viewed in a positive light by any of his peers in the Senate, or in the entire United States Congress, for that matter. However, he is the lesser of two evils.

His win in Iowa restored a bit of faith in us all and brought Trump down to size to the very unfamiliar posture of a humbled man.

Yes Felicia, be gone. The political new comer learned a valuable lesson in the ways of our political process: hot shot media sound bites will not win an election.

Ground support and organization are required to win—omnipresence in every media clip, and even backing from the likes of Sarah Palin, are simply not enough to win.

Oh how quickly those tables turned.

Sanders soared and Clinton narrowly escaped defeat.

Like it or not, the people have spoken, and Sanders is here to stay. With Clinton narrowly winning by two tenths of a percent, her victory is more of a calling card than an outright cause to celebrate. Clinton faired better this time around in her pursuit of support from the people of Iowa, but the virtual tie between Clinton and Sanders is an undeniable triumph for the later, because his campaign was not so long ago laughed off as a radical idea. Oh, the irony.

Clinton and Sanders will essentially split Iowa’s delegates. You’ll have to stay tuned into this race as it unfolds to get a clear sense of who will win America’s support down the line. Clinton had a razor thin edge in Iowa, so we’ll call this one a win-win for them both as they head into New Hampshire.

Last night was huge for politics all around.

As O’Malley and Huckabee made their long  overdue exits, we witnessed the tightening of this race and a few indicators of what’s to come.

In the coming weeks, do expect fireworks from all camps in both parties. 

Much like a tied match up between two high caliber sports teams, the Democratic race will provide moments of excitement as Clinton and Sanders duke it out in the primaries moving forward. Although Sanders did soar to heights unexpected of him in Iowa, Clinton is still the party’s prevailing favorite, and it will take much more work and strategic action for him to pick up steam among minorities and establishment-backers in states beyond New Hampshire.

Likewise, Trump is down, but he is not out. He can still regroup and implement a formidable plan to increase groundswell in impending states.

And Rubio, as delirious as ever last night, will now have the support of the Republican establishment as they look to overstep the possibilities of either placing Donald Trump or Ted Cruz on the ticket.

Even with a third place finish, Rubio will now receive more financial and political backing from his Republican peers as they race to replace the current frontrunners with viewed as the best candidate to face their Democratic foe at the polls later this fall.

Finally, expect anti-establishment sentiments to increase in popularity on both sides.

Trump and Sanders are changing the political process right before our very eyes. A relative political unknown and a self-confessed radical socialist have shaken the traditional nature of this process by relaying messages that resonate with America’s youth and register with those hungry for change.

In the end, we all win as we bear witness to one of the most oddly engaging and entertaining presidential contests of all time.

Photo: Giphy

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