Iowa’s Historic Democratic Caucus: What Does It Mean for Small Biz?

Date: February 04, 2016

Clinton gained a razor-thin victory over Sanders, but where did the two candidates stand on small business issues?

Hillary Clinton not only made history as the first woman to win the Iowa Democratic caucus on Feb. 1, but she also prevailed with the most narrow margin ever, too.

Clinton eked out just 0.2 percent more votes than Bernie Sanders. As a result, she won 700.59 state delegate equivalents to Sanders’ 696.82 state delegate equivalents, according to a press release from the Iowa Democratic Party.

THE RACE IS HEATING UP. Get the latest news—and what it all means for small business—from NFIB.

Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, dropped out of the race not long after his third-place finish, leaving the Democratic Party with a two-candidate battle for the nomination.

Soon after the official caucus results came in, both Clinton and Sanders flew out to campaign in New Hampshire for the Feb. 9 primary contest. Before then, the presidential hopefuls will square off for another debate Feb. 4 at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

Clinton and Sanders Tout Expanded Healthcare

In her victory speech, Clinton called herself a progressive who “gets things done for people.” Among the things she talked about included universal healthcare coverage for “every single man, woman and child.”

This aligns with what she said during the fourth Democratic debate in January where Clinton praised Obamacare, saying “we finally have a path to universal healthcare.”

“I do not want to see us start over again with another contentious debate. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it,” she said.

At the same debate, Sanders pushed for a “Medicare-for-all” system. And in his Iowa caucus speech, he reiterated that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

Minimum Wage and Small Business Platforms

Sanders—the self-proclaimed “only candidate on the Democratic side without a super PAC”—chalked up the narrow caucus loss as a promising sign. He defined his campaign as a “political revolution” and called for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Although Clinton didn’t bring up the issue in her speech, she has said she strongly supports raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour.

In a recent Forbes article, Rohit Arora, a regular contributor, looked at how Sanders and Clinton contrast on small business matters.

“Sanders supported the Small Business Jobs Act, which created a $30 billion lending fund designed to spur smaller banks to make loans and increased the limits on the amount that companies could borrow under SBA lending programs,” he wrote.

In comparison, Clinton offered a three-point plan that aims to cut the red tape that slows business growth, provide tax relief for small business owners and to create a simpler tax filing process that offers women and minority-owned small businesses more access to financing and markets, according to Arora.

*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB.

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