Cruz bests Trump, Clinton emerges victorious in Iowa


by Alex Kirkpatrick, Digital Editor

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won the Republican Iowa caucus, with the help of a strong, evangelical base in the first-in-the-nation state.

Cruz set a record Monday night for the most Iowa caucus votes received by a single candidate, according to the Des Moines Register.

Cruz said rights come not from political leaders or the tea party, but God.

In his speech, Cruz said: “Tonight is a victory for millions of Americans, who have shouldered the burden of seven years of Washington deals run amok. Tonight is a victory for every American who’s watched in display as career politicians in Washington in both parties refuse to listen and too often fail to keep their commitments to the people.”

After a hard-fought battle, business mogul Donald Trump, who opted out of the latest GOP debate, placed second.

In a short, humbling and gracious speech after losing, Trump said: “I simply love the people of Iowa. I was told by everybody, ‘Do not go to Iowa. You couldn’t finish in the top 10.’ I said, ‘I have friends in Iowa; I know a lot of people in Iowa; I think they’ll really like me.’ They said, ‘Don’t do it.’ I said, ‘I have to do it.’ And we finished second, and I want to tell you something: I’m just honored. I’m really honored.”

Marco Rubio finished in a strong third place.

Previously thought to be a two-man GOP race, experts and voters say his strong showing proved him to be a viable candidate. 

Data and exit polls show the Florida senator was popular among millennials.

“First, I caucused becauseI really wanted to do this, I thought caucusing was a really important thing to do,” said one first-time caucus-goer. “Second, I caucused for Marco Rubio. I was really surprised at the results. I didn’t expect him to get as far as a lead ahead.” 

The GOP had record turnout for the Iowa caucuses, according to the Associated Press. An estimated 185,000 Republicans caucused on Monday night.

The latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll, conducted by renowned pollster J. Ann Selzer, had Trump in first place and Cruz in second place.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton squeezed out a narrow victory over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, state Democratic Paty officials announced Tuesday afternoon, after a heated neck and neck race.

She is the first female politician to win the Iowa caucus. 

Dubbed a “virtual tie,” Clinton won 49.9 percent, and Sanders won 49.6 percent, as the focus shifts to New Hampshire, where the Vermont senator holds a strong lead. 

“We’re going to fight really hard in New Hampshire and then we’re going to Nevada, to South Carolina, we’re doing well around the country,” Sanders said shortly after landing in the Granite State.

Clinton, who handily lost to President Barack Obama in 2008 in Iowa, admitted breathing a “sigh of relief” in a speech that claimed a slim victory.

“This has been an incredible honor to campaign across Iowa, with so many of you to make the case for the kind of future we want,” Clinton said. “As I stand here tonight, breathing a big sigh of relief, thank you, Iowa. I want you to know, I will keep doing what I have done my entire life.”

Around 9 p.m. Monday, with 75 percent of the votes in, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley bowed out of the race. He finished the caucus with less than 1 percent of the Democratic vote.

The latest Des Moines Register Poll predicted Clinton (45 percent) winning over Sanders (42 percent) with O’Malley receiving 3 percent of the vote.