Clinton struggled to win younger voters during her Iowa stand-off with Bernie Sanders.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has beaten Vermont senator Bernie Sanders in Iowa, it was confirmed late on Tuesday (February 2).

However, her road to victory was not as smooth as originally presumed, as her self-described socialist rival won the majority of younger voters.

Despite her campaign team’s efforts to show a lighter side, Clinton lost out on the youth vote as Sanders won 85% of voters under 30 and majority of those under 45.

“I can tell you, I’ve won and I’ve lost there – it’s a lot better to win,” Clinton – who recently won endorsement from LGBT lobby group the Human Rights Campaign – told voters at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, referencing her third place defeat in 2008.

“New Hampshire,” she shouted over loud cheering from the crowd.

“Stand up for me! Fight for me! And if we win, I will stand up and fight for you every single day.”

Originally deemed a sure bet for the Democratic candidacy, the fight to be the country’s first female leader is proving tougher for Clinton than initially thought, as Sanders robbed her of a decisive win.

Clinton won 49.86% of the vote, with Sanders on 49.57% – a margin of just 0.29 percentage points.

The two appear to have split the number of delegates Iowa will send to the national Democratic convention roughly evenly – with Clinton collecting 23 and Sanders 21.

She will also have a fight on her hands next week’s primary in New Hampshire, Sanders has a strong lead of 18 points.

Meanwhile, openly homophobic Texas Senator Ted Cruz surprised some by beating back his Republican rival Donald Trump.

Another nasty shock was nearly in store for the controversial businessman, as he managed to win only a slim majority over third place candidate Marco Rubio.

The New Hampshire vote will take place February 9.