Hillary Clinton and top challenger Bernie Sanders have ended in a virtual tie in the Democratic contest for the Iowa presidential nomination.
With less than a percentage point between them neither side has officially claimed a victory.
For most of the evening Clinton had been slightly ahead but an unrelenting surge from the self-styled democratic socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders has left everything in doubt.
With 93 percent of votes counted, Clinton was on 50.1 percent to Sanders’ 49.3 percent.
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who had trouble gaining any traction in the Democratic race, says he plans to suspend his campaign. He was in third place with 0.5 percent.
Clinton who is a former secretary of state needed a win in Iowa to prevent a potential two-state opening losing streak that would raise fresh questions about a candidate who was considered the clear front-runner just two months ago. Sanders is leading in polls in New Hampshire, the next state to hold a nominating contest.
NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) February 2, 2016