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

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.


From Belfast Telegraph