DONALD TRUMP, MARCO RUBIO TANGLE FOR SECOND PLACE …
Suddenly, the anti-establishment movement within the “Republican” party has more than one face.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz won the Iowa GOP Caucus on Monday night – giving his Tea Party-backed presidential bid fresh momentum heading into other early-voting states.
Meanwhile Donald Trump – the national GOP frontrunner and current leader in early-voting New Hampshire and South Carolina – tangled with establishment favorite Marco Rubio for second place in the Hawkeye State.
With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Cruz had captured 27.7 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 24.3 percent. Rubio was nipping at Trump’s heels with 23.1 percent support – well above where the amnesty-loving lawmaker had been polling prior to election day.
Cruz won eight delegates, Trump seven and Rubio six – the first of 2,472 delegates to be awarded over the course of the “Republican” primary. To capture the party’s nomination, a candidate must earn 1,237 of them.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson finished a distant fourth with 9.3 percent of the Iowa vote (picking up two delegates), while U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky finished fifth with 4.5 percent (earning one delegate).
The rest of the field? They put up disappointing results … especially former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who captured just 2.8 percent of the vote despite the fact his campaign (and a political action committee supporting it) spent millions of dollars in the state.
In fact one reporter estimated the Right to Rise political action committee spent a whopping $25,000 per vote in Iowa – all so Bush could finish in sixth place.
Trailing Bush were Ohio governor John Kasich (1.9 percent), former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (1.9 percent), New Jersey governor Chris Christie (1.8 percent), former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (1.7) and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Huckabee – who won the Iowa Caucus in 2008 – announced he was exiting the race before all of the votes had even been tabulated. Santorum – who narrowly won Iowa in 2012 – is expected to follow in his footsteps soon.
Up next? New Hampshire … on February 9.