Cruz trumps Donald in Iowa; Clinton posts razor-thin victory

Cruz trumps Donald in Iowa; Clinton posts razor-thin victory

In a stunning upset, Senator Ted Cruz beat controversial Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in the crucial Iowa caucuses while Democrat Hillary Clinton eked out a victory over Bernie Sanders as the race for the White House began today.

As the results of the Iowa Caucuses poured in throughout the night, 45-year-old Texas Senator Cruz bagged 28 per cent of the total votes with a lead of over 6,000 votes against Trump's 24 per cent.

With almost all the votes counted, Marco Rubio stood at the third position with 23 per cent.
Among the Democrats, it was razor-thin contest between Clinton and Sanders till the last votes, with the former Secretary of State bagging 50 per cent votes and edging out her rival who secured 49 per cent votes.

Iowa Democratic Party declared 68-year-old Clinton as the winner of the cliffhanger.
Clinton, who is aiming to become the first woman president of the US, ran neck and neck with Sanders throughout the counting of votes. Sanders had trailed behind Clinton by more than 20 points several weeks ago.

In his first reaction after coming second in Iowa, Trump said: "We finished second. I am just honoured. I want to congratulate Ted (Cruz)."

The 69-year-old real estate tycoon said he never expected such a second place finish in Iowa when he started his campaign on June 16, 2015.

Referring to the next primary destinations of New Hampshire and South Carolina, Trump exuded confidence over winning the party's nomination.

"We will go on to win the Republican nomination," Trump said and claimed that he will beat either of the potential Democratic nominee - Clinton or Sanders.

Cruz, in his Iowa victory speech, said, "Tonight is the victory for courageous conservative. Iowa has send notice that the next Republican nominee or the president would not be chosen by the media, would not be chosen by the lobbyist, or by the Washingtonians...would be chosen by the American people."

"Tonight Iowa has proclaimed to the world that morning is coming," he said amidst cheer from his supporters. Claiming victory, Clinton said it is rare to have a real contest of ideas.
"I am a progressive to get things done for the people. Status quo is not good enough," she said with her husband and the former president Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton standing by her side.

Clinton reiterated her ambition to make US the clean energy super power of the world, and protect the rights of women and immigrants and stand up to the strong gun lobby. She also lashed out at the divisive policies of the Republican candidates.

From Iowa, the race to the White House now moves to New Hampshire where the primaries are scheduled for February 9 and then to South Carolina.

In both the states, Trump is leading by a huge margin in latest opinion polls. On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee announced to suspend his campaign. Both Rubio and Trump praised him with the objective of gaining his support.

Reacting to the results, Sanders said: "What Iowa has begun tonight is a political revolution."
He said he would have about half of the Iowa delegates. "Enough is enough. Our government belongs to the people and not just to the billionaires," he said.

"It's a virtual tie. We do not represent the interest of the billionaire class and corporate America," Sanders said, adding that his campaign would do well in the other states. American people have said "no" to a rigged economy, he added.

America is "ready for a radical idea", Sanders said and promised to raise the minimum wage to USD 15 an hour and equal pay for women.

Public colleges and education should be tuition free, he said, adding that he would do so by imposing a tax on The Wall Street speculation. Meanwhile, the third Democratic party presidential aspirant Martin O'Malley announced to suspend his campaign.

The first primary in Iowa attracted a record number of people for the caucuses. Iowa has an unusual election system based on caucuses, which involve people gathering at private homes, schools and other public buildings across the state.

Democratic voters divide themselves into groups based on their preferred candidate, but the Republican caucus process is more like a traditional ballot.

Over the coming months, the other 49 states as well as US territories will vote for the party nominees. Each states' delegates will be tallied and a nominee will become apparent towards the middle of the year. In November, the US will pick the next president who will assume office in January, 2017.

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