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Hillary is pushed to the limit as Cruz topples Trump

By David Usborne

Published 03/02/2016

Hillary Clinton with her husband Bill and daughter Chelsea at the caucus in Iowa
Hillary Clinton with her husband Bill and daughter Chelsea at the caucus in Iowa
Donald Trump
Ted Cruz

Donald Trump, the self-professed winner of all things, looked more like a loser going into the next stages of the Republican nomination race after voters in Iowa unexpectedly pushed him into second place - delivering instead a solid victory to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Elsewhere, Hillary Clinton narrowly won the Democratic caucuses, outpacing a surprisingly strong challenge from Bernie Sanders.

Mr Cruz won 28% of the vote in Monday night's caucuses after a strong grassroots campaign.

He was backed by a coalition of conservative and evangelical Republicans who yearn to reverse eight years of liberal progressivism under President Barack Obama and to re-embrace Christian values.

Moreover, Mr Trump only narrowly escaped being pushed into third place by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

Mr Rubio's unexpectedly strong performance made him the other big winner of the night, cementing him as the new favourite of mainstream Republicans and the party elite.

Polls had consistently placed Mr Trump ahead, but when Republicans poured in record numbers to their caucus sites across the state, it seemed many had changed their minds.

The Iowa Democratic Party called the race between former first lady Ms Clinton and Mr Sanders the closest in its caucus history.

Mrs Clinton appeared before supporters to declare she was "breathing a big sigh of relief".

Belfast Telegraph

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