The two victors won handily: Huckabee took 34 percent of the Republican vote, versus 25 percent for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and 13 percent each for former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee and Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a favorite among libertarian-leaning Republicans and a fundraising phenom in the fourth quarter of 2007, came in with 10 percent.
Obama won 38 percent of the Democratic delegates at stake, against 30 percent for former Sen. John Edwards and 29 percent for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson came in a distant fourth, with 2 percent. Sens. Joseph Biden of Delaware and Christopher Dodd barely registered any delegates in a Democratic caucus system that requires candidates to meet a 15 percent threshold of initial support to even qualify for delegates. Both senators dropped out of the race late Thursday night, fulfilling Iowa's usual role of winnowing the field.
Both of Iowa's winners, who trailed here until relatively recently, positioned themselves as anti-establishment. Huckabee has never served in Washington, and Obama, the youngest candidate in both fields at 46, has been in the Senate only three years. As an African-American, Obama also cuts a different figure from the usual white male candidate.