The Iowa polling average had the race at Trump with 28.6%, Cruz behind at 23.9%, and Rubio sitting in third with 16.9%.
As of 11:30pm CST, Ted Cruz has 27.7% (+3.8%) to Trump's 24.3% (-4.3%) and Rubio's 23.1% (+6.2%). Donald Trump, who to this point looked like a nigh-invincible giant in the polls, and who touted that as practically his primary qualification, has been felled by a Texan lumberjack.
Cruz has been the only candidate to really draw blood on the debate stage with Trump. His punches have landed when nobody else's really did (looking at you, Jeb).
As I said in my January 21st post, "The only time Donald Trump can be stopped is in Iowa, and the only candidate that can stop him is Ted Cruz." Ted Cruz did just that. If Donald Trump had won tonight, he would have been unstoppable. Instead, Trump now looks vulnerable. His air of inevitability (previously ripped from Jeb Bush) is gone.
New Hampshire is a different ballgame from Iowa, but Trump's mantra ("I'm ahead everywhere, I win all the time") has been crushed.
Ted Cruz had a huge night in Iowa, and because of that we have a chance to stop the madness that is 'Trump fever'.
Full Iowa results (1675 of 1682 precincts reporting):
- Ted Cruz - 27.7%
- Donald Trump - 24.3%
- Marco Rubio - 23.1%
- Ben Carson - 9.3%
- Rand Paul - 4.5%
- Jeb Bush - 2.8%
- Carly Fiorina - 1.9%
- John Kasich - 1.9%
- Mike Huckabee - 1.8%
- Chris Christie - 1.8%
- Rick Santorum - 1.0%
- Other - 0.1%
- Jim Gilmore - 0.0%