Ted Cruz beats DonaLD tRUMP IN iOWA( pHOTO: asSOCIATED pRESS)
Ted Cruz beats Donald Trump in Iowa( Photo: Associated Press)

DES MOINES, Iowa(AP)—Texas Sen. Ted Cruz outmuscled Donald Trump to win the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on Monday, delivering a stinging rebuke to the celebrity businessman and establishing himself as a leading contender for the nomination.Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, powered by a surge of support from evangelical Christians, dealt a humbling loss to Donald J. Trump in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, throwing into question the depth of support for Mr. Trump’s unconventional candidacy.

In the first contest of what so far has been more a populist revolt against the political order than a traditional Republican primary, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida finished a strong third, bolstering his case to consolidate the support of Republicans uneasy about the two top finishers.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Cruz had nearly 28 percent of the vote, Mr. Trump 24 percent and Mr. Rubio 23 percent.

Mr. Cruz’s victory was hard-earned. He fought off a barrage of attacks in the campaign’s final weeks from Mr. Trump as well as from Iowa’s longtime governor, Terry E. Branstad, and Republican leaders in Washington who warned that the hard-line Mr. Cruz would lead the party to electoral disaster this fall.

“To God be the glory,” Mr. Cruz told jubilant supporters. “Tonight is a victory for the grass roots. Tonight is a victory for courageous conservatives all across Iowa and our great nation.”

The close race illustrated just how turbulent the Republican race may be, with the vote fragmenting between Mr. Cruz’s evangelicals and Tea Party adherents, Mr. Trump’s blue-collar political newcomers and Mr. Rubio’s mix of conservatives and pragmatic Republicans hungry for victory.

Turnout was about 185,000, a record, according to Edison Research, which conducted entrance polls at precincts across the state. Mr. Trump’s success had been expected to hinge on whether he could mobilize his supporters. But the turnout was not enough to deliver him a win, even though 46 percent of those who turned out were participating in a Republican caucus for the first time.

Instead, Mr. Trump paid the price for building only a rudimentary political organization in the state: The brew of energy and anger powering his candidacy did not fully translate into votes, reports Associated Press.

Donald Trumpwas defeated by Ted Cruz in the GOP Ioa Race( Photo: Assicuated Press)
Donald Trumpwas defeated by Ted Cruz in the GOP Ioa Race( Photo: Assicuated Press)

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