"What a night, an unbelievable night," Hillary Clinton said as the Iowa caucuses drew to a close Monday night

By Tierney McAfee
Updated February 02, 2016 12:35 AM
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Credit: USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA

Though a winner still hadn’t officially been named in Iowa’s Democratic caucuses, that didn’t stop Hillary Clinton from seemingly declaring victory as her neck and neck battle with rival Bernie Sanders drew to a close Monday night.

The former secretary of state took the stage to address her supporters and breathe “a big sigh of relief,” despite a narrow margin of victory.

“Hillary Clinton has won the Iowa Caucus,” Clinton’s campaign said in a statement on Tuesday. “After thorough reporting – and analysis – of results, there is no uncertainty and Secretary Clinton has clearly won the most national and state delegates.”

The campaign added that there is “no outstanding information” that could change the results to Sanders’ advantage.

“Standing still is not an option,” Clinton said on Monday night. “The Democratic party and this campaign stands for what is best in America and we have to be united when it is all said and done. We have to be united against a Republican vision and candidate who would drive us apart and divide us. That is not who we are, my friends … I will not let their divisiveness, their efforts to rip away the progress that we’ve made be successful.”

Punctuated by Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song,” Clinton closed by saying, “So as I stand here tonight, breathing a big sigh of relief – thank you, Iowa! – I want you to know I will keep standing up for you, I will keep fighting for you Join me! Let’s go win the nomination!”

And with that, she was off to New Hampshire. (“[I’ll be] hitting the ground, getting to work in New Hampshire,” Clinton told PEOPLE ahead of the caucuses. “That’s the rhythm. You just keep moving forward.”)

Later, Clinton shared her appreciation for the Iowa voters on Twitter, writing, “So grateful to everyone who gives your all to support this campaign. You made this possible.”

Sanders was up next on Monday, taking the stage to chants of “Bernie! Bernie!” and “Feel. The. Burn!” The Vermont senator thanked voters in the Hawkeye State, saying, “Nine months ago, we came to this beautiful state. We had no political organization. We had no money. We had no name recognition. And we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America.

“And tonight while the results are still not known, it looks like we are in a virtual tie – whoa!”

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Secretary Clinton – yup – and her organization for waging a vigorous campaign,” he continued.

“As I think about what happened tonight, I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, the economic establishment and, by the way, the media establishment. And that is, given the enormous crises facing our country, it is just too late for establishment politics and establishment economics.”

“…What Iowa has begun tonight is a political revolution.”

The former secretary of state and the Vermont senator had been locked in a tight race in Iowa, and Clinton’s probable victory could help set the tone for the rest of the 2016 race – and for what will no doubt be a high-stakes battle at next week’s New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9.

Sanders continues to lead Clinton by a wide margin, 57 percent to 34 percent, in New Hampshire, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

Meanwhile, after a poor showing at the Iowa caucuses, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley suspended his campaign before Monday night’s winner was even declared.