– Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a fiery conservative loathed by his own party’s leaders, swept to victory in Iowa’s Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and a stronger-than-expected showing by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Bernie Sanders rode a wave of voter enthusiasm to a virtual tie with Hillary Clinton, long considered her party’s front-runner.
Cruz’s victory over Trump was a testament to his massive get-out-the-vote operation in Iowa and the months he spent wooing the state’s influential conservative and evangelical leaders.
“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,” Cruz said.
His comments were echoed by Sanders, underscoring the degree to which voter frustration with the political system has crossed party lines in the 2016 campaign.
“It is too late for establishment politics and establishment economics,” said Sanders, who declared the Democratic race a “virtual tie.”
Clinton took the stage at her own campaign rally saying she was “breathing a big sigh of relief” but with the Democratic race too close to call. Aware that even a slim victory over Sanders would reinvigorate questions about her candidacy, she foresaw a long race to come.
“It is rare that we have the opportunity we do now, to have a real contest of ideas, to really think hard about what the Democratic Party stands for and what we want the future of our country to look like,” Clinton said.
Trump has shaken the Republican Party perhaps more than any other candidate, though he was unable to turn his legion of fans into an Iowa victory.
He sounded humble in defeat, saying he was “honored” by the support of Iowans. And he vowed to keep up his fight for the Republican nomination.