Latest Headlines: White House hopefuls Donald Trump in trouble. Ted Cruz soundly defeated the billionaire in Iowa's Republican nominating contest.
Donald Trump barely stayed ahead of a hard-charging Florida senator Marco Rubio.
Cruz had led Iowa by double-digit margins in December, according to polling averages, but that lead had dwindled in recent weeks, and an influential Des Moines Register poll Saturday had Trump taking the state by five points.
Instead, Trump has been handed a loss. Note that the 30 Republican delegates at stake in Iowa are rewarded proportionally, and so the practical difference between first and second is slim.
But what’s the difference between being the winner – and whatever you’d call the runner-up? We’ll bring you the reaction from inside the Donald Trump party this evening..
Florida senator Marco Rubio is delivering a victory speech in Iowa – after coming in third. A strong third, about a point behind runner-up Donald Trump.
“They told us it couldn’t be done,” Rubio says, of his third-place finish. The crowd claps and cheers and otherwise behaves appropriately for the start of an inspirational medley video culminating with Rubio’s imagined nomination.
Cruz, a conservative lawmaker from Texas, won with 28 percent of the vote compared to 24 percent for Donald Trump, according to MSNBC and CNN.
Marco Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida, came in third place with 23 percent, making him easily the leader among establishment Republican candidates.
Trump congratulated Cruz and said he still expected to win the Republican nomination.
"I'm just honored, I'm really honored," Trump told supporters. He said he looked forward to the next contest next week in New Hampshire, where polls show him ahead.
Rubio's third place finish established him as the Republican establishment's main alternative to Trump and Cruz.
"I am grateful to you, Iowa. You believed in me when others didn't think it was possible," he said.
The results could have ramifications in upcoming races.
"There is now blood in the water for Donald Trump," said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean. "Ted Cruz proved he could successfully beat back Trump attacks because he had a great ground game and identified well with evangelical voters."
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said he was suspending his campaign for the Republican party nomination. Huckabee won the Iowa caucus in 2008.
Iowa has held the first nominating contests, called caucuses, since the early 1970s, giving it extra weight in the U.S. electoral process that can translate into momentum for winning candidates. The caucuses are voter gatherings that take place in 1,100 schools, churches and other public locations across the Midwestern state.
The 2016 election is shaping up to be the year of angry voters as disgruntled Americans worry about issues such as immigration, terrorism, income inequality and healthcare, fueling the campaigns of Trump, Sanders and Cruz.