For the Democrats, it is certainly accurate to say it was close and not surprising that both Clinton and Sanders were claiming victory. Bernie turned out a lot of new young voters, which may be valuable for the Democratic Party in general going forward this year and beyond, regardless how this race finishes. For Clinton, she did much better than eight years ago (which bodes well for her, especially given the high turnout at the caucus), and she was tested and seriously challenged, which certainly won’t hurt her going forward. Having eked out a victory, she avoids the historical fact that losing both Iowa and New Hampshire has usually been difficult to overcome.
So where are we? For the Republicans, it comes down to which lane, the anti or the remaining establishment, can sort more quickly to having just one candidate in the race. Either side continuing to split amongst as many as three candidates, when the other consolidates around one, will probably determine the outcome. For the Democrats, with O’Malley out, it is now one-on-one and a choice between the very well-known, experienced, battle scarred Hillary and the acknowledged socialist Bernie, who has never been a Democrat but who has certainly built a following that will be valuable for the Democratic nominee winning in November. The Democratic base in the first two states are liberal and white. Going south and west will bring a much more diverse electorate and likely different results.