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Hillary Clinton declared Iowa caucus winner with 0.3 percent edge

Hillary Clinton is the official winner of the Iowa caucus after Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) released its final results from Monday night's caucus, showing Clinton winning just under four more state delegate equivalents than rival Bernie Sanders.

In terms of percentages, the former secretary of state won 49.9 percent of delegates and the Vermont senator won 49.6 percent.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton earned 700.59 state delegate equivalents and Sanders received 696.82 state delegate equivalents. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley - who suspended his campaign a few hours after the caucuses began - earned 7.61 state delegate equivalents, and .46 state delegate equivalents were awarded to uncommitted voters. The Associated Press reported that the IDP will not recount the caucus vote.

IDP Communications Director Sam Lau deliberately avoided calling Clinton the "winner" in his statement, saying merely, "The IDP has released its final results. Hillary Clinton was awarded the largest amount of state delegate equivalents."

Before the final total was announced, IDP Chairman Andy McGuire released a statement calling the election "historically close." 171,109 Democrats engaged in the caucus, one of the strongest turnouts ever.

Clinton told supporters Monday night she was "breathing a big sigh of relief" before the results were officially announced. Her campaign officially announced victory in the middle of the night. Sanders' campaign, by comparison, said the two "fought to a virtual draw."

Based on the final results of the preference vote, each candidate receives a proportional number of the county convention delegates, which is translated into "state delegate equivalents" through a mathematical formula.

The exact delegate selection will continue at the county conventions on March 12 and state convention on June 18 to choose the people who will represent Iowa a the Democratic convention in July. The final delegate count generally reflects the presidential preference vote.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.