Charisma Caucus

Did Iowa Just Set the GOP's Top 3?

Donald Trump
Donald Trump didn't win the Iowa Republican Caucus, but he's only one delegate behind U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz with more than 1,200 delegates yet needed by either of them to win the nomination. (Reuters photo)

After Iowa's first-in-the-nation nominating contest, the race for the GOP presidential nomination is only just beginning. But it's getting off to a very interesting start.

With a record-shattering turnout of 184,363—more than 50 percent greater than the previous record-holding turnout of 2008—U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz won the Iowa Republican Caucus with 51,649 votes, which also was an all-time GOP record. Donald Trump, the national front-runner, took second place with 45,416 votes, while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio took third place with 43,132 votes.

During a lengthy victory speech, which included numerous praises to God, Cruz declared his win a "victory for courageous conservatives across Iowa and all across this great nation." He threw the results back into the faces of his chief naysayers, the national media and the Washington, D.C., establishment.

Trump took a decidedly different tone from that which he had frequently conveyed on the campaign trail. He praised both Iowans for their support, and congratulated Cruz on his victory, before pledging to continue the fight for the Republican nomination in New Hampshire—where, he noted, he holds a substantial lead in the polls—and beyond.

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And he would be right. Republican National Committee bylaws require the "early voting states"—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada—to distribute delegates proportionately, meaning anyone with at least 3.5 percent of the vote Monday evening received at least one delegate.

Iowa will send 30 delegates—of which 27 were determined by the Caucus Night vote tally—to the Republican National Convention later this year in Cleveland. A candidate needs 1,237 delegates to win the party's nomination outright on the first ballot. The following are the complete results:

1. Ted Cruz             51,649 votes     8 delegates

2. Donald Trump     45,416               7

3. Marco Rubio       43,132               7

4. Ben Carson         17,393              3

5. Rand Paul             8,478              1

6. Jeb Bush              5,235              1

7. Carly Fiorina         3,483

8. John Kasich          3,473

9. Mike Huckabee      3,344

10. Chris Christie      3,278

11. Rick Santorum    1,783

The first casualty of Monday's results was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who announced he was suspending his campaign shortly after the results began pouring in. Interestingly, Trump has a campaign event scheduled for Wednesday in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Huckabee had housed his national campaign's base of operations.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are both high enough in the polls in New Hampshire to continue campaigning, despite their abysmal showings in Iowa. Rick Santorum's campaign says the former Pennsylvania senator will be campaigning in South Carolina, where he would need to have a very strong showing to justify staying in the race.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, despite spending more than $15,000 per vote in Iowa, has pledged to continue campaigning, as has U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. Dr. Ben Carson has said he is taking a little time off from the campaign trail, but did not say he was suspending his campaign.

The Carly Fiorina campaign has been largely silent since the results were announced. She edged out Kasich by just 10 votes, and Huckabee by 39.

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