Businessman Donald Trump was trounced last night after Ted Cruz scored a striking victory in the Iowa caucuses.
Polls favorite Trump was left red-faced when he finished in second place on Monday night, losing the first presidential contest of the year to the Texas Senator, who ended up with 28 per cent of the Republican votes to the billionaire’s 24 per cent.
Marco Rubio finished in third, with 23 per cent of the votes.
The Republicans had a breakout evening in turnout with over 180,000 voters caucusing a nearly 16 percentage points gain over 2012.
Following his victory Ted Cruz took aim at the media and the establishment for not predicting his win.
He said:’Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and next president of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment.”
Trump responded with a short speech thanking the people of Iowa.
‘On June 16th, when we started this journey, there were 17 candidates. I was told by everybody, “Do not go to Iowa, you could never finish even in the top 10.”And I said, “But I have friends in Iowa, I know a lot of people in Iowa. I think they’ll really like me. Let’s give it a shot.”‘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.’‘I want to congratulate Ted,’ he said, referring to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who won the caucuses with 6,000 more votes than Trump collected.‘And I want to congratulate all of the incredible candidates.’
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were neck-and-neck, with the former Secretary of State leading the 74-year-old senator from Vermont by just 5 votes.