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Iowa caucuses: Donald Trump defeated by Ted Cruz, as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders deadlocked

Published 02/02/2016

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a caucus night rally, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a caucus night rally, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
DES MOINES, IA - FEBRUARY 01: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at his Iowa Caucus night gathering February 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has won the Iowa Republican Caucus. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a caucus night rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, and his wave Jane acknowledge the crowd as he arrives for his caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Feb. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a caucus night rally, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
WEST DES MOINES, IA - FEBRUARY 1: Ben Carson speaks at his Iowa Caucus Night Party in the Marriott Hotel on February 1, 2016 in West Des Moines, Iowa. Carson is projected to finish fourth in the GOP running. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Staff and volunteers of the Hillary Clinton Burlington, Iowa campaign field office cheer as Hillary Clinton speaks on the television at the Boogaloo Cafe on February 1, 2016 in Burlington, Iowa. Ted Cruz felled long-time Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton was battled into a virtual tie with rival Bernie Sanders, as Iowans held the inaugural vote of the 2016 White House race. / AFP / Michael B. ThomasMICHAEL B. THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump, pauses for a selfie as his wife Melania, right, watches while visiting Saint Francis of Assisi Church West Des Moines (AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, from left, former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea acknowledge supporters during a caucus night party at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Billionaire Donald Trump was left unusually subdued after conceding defeat to Ted Cruz, a fiery, conservative Texas senator loathed by his own party's leaders, in Iowa's Republican caucuses.

Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race.

Mr Cruz's victory was a harsh blow to Mr Trump, the supremely confident real estate mogul who has rocked the Republican field for months with controversial statements about women and minorities.

The victory in the first Republican nominating contest ensures that Mr Cruz will be a force in the presidential race for weeks to come - if not longer.

The first-term Texas senator now heads to next week's New Hampshire primary as an undisputed favourite of the furthest right voters, a position of strength for drawing in evangelical voters and others who prioritise an abrupt break with President Barack Obama's policies.

Perhaps most importantly, his win denied Mr Trump a huge opportunity to gain momentum heading into New Hampshire.

He translated his fame as a tycoon and reality television star into large rallies and national poll numbers that before Monday night had established him as the Republican frontrunner.

"Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and next president of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment," Mr Cruz told supporters.

Mr Trump came in second, only slightly ahead of Senator Marco Rubio, whose stronger-than-expected finish could help cement his status as the favourite of mainstream Republican voters.

In the Democratic race, with vote counts past the 90% point, Mrs Clinton and Mr Sanders were in a virtual tie.

Democratic caucus-goers were choosing between Mrs Clinton's pledge to use her wealth of experience in government to bring about steady progress on Democratic ideals and Mr Sanders' call for radical change in a system rigged against ordinary Americans.

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