Iowa Caucuses: Ted Cruz Declared Winner; Donald Trump "Honored" With Second-Place Finish

Trump Ted Cruz Split - H 2016
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Trump Ted Cruz Split - H 2016

The Texas senator edges past the billionaire businessman in the crowded GOP field. In the Democratic race, Bernie Sanders says he's in "a virtual tie" with Hillary Clinton while a Clinton spokesman says, "we believe strongly that we won tonight." Both Mike Huckabee and Martin O'Malley end their bids.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The latest on developments in Monday's Iowa caucuses, the opening contest in the 2016 race for the White House (all local times):

Donald Trump said he was "honored" with his second-place finish in Iowa on Monday night, declaring repeatedly: "I love you people." 

Trump congratulated Ted Cruz and all the other "incredible candidates" while speaking at an event with supporters after Cruz was declared the winner of the Monday night contest — the first of the 2016 election.

In his short speech, Trump thanked his campaign team and his family before saying his sights were now set on New Hampshire for the primary Feb. 9.

Trump says that when he started the campaign, he was advised not to compete in Iowa because he couldn't finish in the top 10. Trump says he felt he had to do it and wanted to give it a shot.


1 a.m.

How close was the Iowa race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? Democrats flipped coins in some precincts to determine how to award an extra county delegate, a rare but longstanding procedure to break ties.

Party rules call for a coin flip when support for candidates is even but a precinct has an odd number of delegates to award.

The Des Moines Register reports that Clinton won coin tosses at precincts in Davenport and Des Moines.

The newspaper says party officials ordered another coin flip to decide a dispute between the campaigns at an Ames precinct. Clinton won that toss, too.

Iowa Democratic Party spokesman Sam Lau noted that the flips were to determine county convention delegates, which are only fractions of the state delegates awarded to candidates.

12:50 a.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign team is casting her performance in the Iowa caucuses as a win, even though she is separated from rival Bernie Sanders by just a few hundred votes.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tells reporters that, "we believe strongly that we won tonight."

He's pointing to Clinton's capture of at least 22 delegates to the party's national convention to Sanders' 21, with one left to be decided.

Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri says: "We feel like we have great momentum going into New Hampshire. This was a very hard fought state."

The Associated Press is not declaring a winner in the Iowa caucuses at this time because of the closeness of the race.

12:38 a.m.

Iowa Democratic Party officials say they are gathering results from a small number of precincts where those in charge failed to report results in Monday's caucuses.

Polk County Democratic Party Chairman Tom Henderson says he is frustrated that some precincts in his county have failed to report results in a timely fashion.

By midnight, he says he'd tracked down results from 166 of the 167 precincts in the state's largest county and that someone is being sent to knock on the door of the chairman of the last outstanding precinct.

Henderson says, "I'm frustrated because we do things better than that."

But he adds, "This is a situation where we have an election that is a near tie. We want to make sure it's accurate."

11:45 p.m.

Ted Cruz's victory in the Iowa caucuses means he'll collect eight delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Donald Trump and Marco Rubio each get seven from the opening contest in the 2016 presidential race.

Coming next is Ben Carson with three, followed by Rand Paul and Jeb Bush — one each.

Delegates are awarded in proportion to the statewide vote.

There are three delegates still to be awarded.

11:05 p.m.

However Iowa's Democratic caucuses turn out, Hillary Clinton is assured of at least half of the state's pledged delegates.

The Associated Press has awarded 43 of the 44 pledged delegates at stake. Clinton currently leads Bernie Sanders, 22 to 21.

Her delegate lead so far is due to a stronger performance in a congressional district in the southwestern part of the state.

The remaining delegate to be awarded will go to the winner of Iowa.

Sanders says he and Clinton are in 'virtual tie" in the Monday night caucuses.

10:55 p.m.

Bernie Sanders says it looks like he and Hillary Clinton are in a "virtual tie" for first place in the Iowa's Democratic caucuses.

The Vermont senator is congratulating his chief rival for waging a "very vigorous campaign" in the first contest of the 2016 election.

Sanders — who calls himself a democratic socialist — says he came to Iowa nine months ago with no money, name recognition or political organization. He says he took on "the most powerful political organization in the United States of America" — namely the Clinton family.

Sanders says the people of Iowa have sent a profound message — that it's too late for what he calls "establishment politics" in the United States.

10:50 p.m.

Voter turnout for the Iowa Republican caucuses was up when compared with the count four years ago.

There were more than 180,000 people at Monday's GOP caucuses. That's up from about 121,000 in 2012.

10:40 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she's excited for the campaign debate ahead with Bernie Sanders now that they're the only two candidates left in the Democratic presidential primary.

It's too close to call right now in Monday night's Iowa caucuses. But there's already been a big development: Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has dropped out of the race.

Clinton tells supporters that she's breathing a big sigh of relief. She says Democrats have a clear idea about what their campaign stands for and what's best for the country.

10:25 p.m.

Democrat Martin O'Malley is pulling out of the presidential race after the Iowa caucuses on Monday night, but says the party must "hold strong" behind the eventual nominee.

The former Maryland governor says Democrats must stick to their beliefs, including a responsibility to advance the common good.

9:50 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Cruz might have picked up momentum by winning the Iowa caucuses, but he's not going to collect many delegates.

With his victory, Cruz will get at least eight delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Trump will get at least seven, Marco Rubio will get at least six, Ben Carson will get at least two and Rand Paul will get at least one.

Delegates are awarded in proportion to the statewide vote. There are six delegates still to be awarded.

9:45 p.m.

"We want Ted" is the chant at Cruz's jubilant caucus-night party in Iowa.

And supporters of the Texas senator — who won Monday night's Republican caucuses — are soon to get their wish. Cruz is flying from Cedar Rapids to Des Moines to join the celebration.

The crowd erupted in cheers when the TV screen showed that the race was being called for their favored candidate.

9:40 p.m.

Republican Mike Huckabee says he's ending his second bid for the White House.

The former Arkansas governor writes on Twitter that he's "officially suspending my campaign." He's thanking his backers for their loyal support, adding the hashtag #ImWithHuck.

He joined the race last May, with an announcement in the hometown he shares with former President Bill Clinton. But Huckabee became just one candidate in a crowded field that included many political newcomers.

His campaign failed to take off with candidates like billionaire Trump, Texas Sen. Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Carson, and Florida Sen. Rubio dominating the race.

9:27 p.m.

It's Cruz on top in the leadoff Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa.

The Texas senator has edged past Trump and a crowded GOP field.

Cruz won with strong support from Iowa's influential evangelical community and conservative voters

Cruz's victory in the first contest of the 2016 race comes just four years after he rode a tea party wave to win election to the Senate.

The race now moves to New Hampshire, where Trump has strong support among voters frustrated and angry with Washington, D.C.

9 p.m.

Democrat Martin O'Malley has suspended his presidential campaign.

The former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor never gained traction against rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Word about O'Malley's move comes from people familiar with his decision. They weren't authorized to discuss it publicly and requested anonymity.

O'Malley campaigned as a can-do chief executive who pushed through key parts of the Democratic agenda in Maryland. They included gun control, support for gay marriage and an increase in the minimum wage.

But O'Malley struggled to raise money and was polling in the single digits for months despite campaigning actively in Iowa and New Hampshire.

— Associated Press writers Ken Thomas and Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

8:50 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Cruz is the top choice among very conservative caucus-goers in Iowa, while Trump is No. 1 among moderates.

That's according to entrance poll interviews among those arriving at caucus sites conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

Those who say they're somewhat conservative are split between Rubio and Trump.

Half of GOP caucus-goers say they prefer a candidate from outside the political establishment, while four in 10 say they prefer someone with political experience.

8:35 p.m.

The crowd has come alive for Rubio at a concert hall that's hosting caucuses for two Iowa precincts outside Des Moines.

The Florida senator tells caucus-goers that he knows they might have come out to support other candidates in the Republican race. But he also says that he believes "with all my heart I can unite this party."

8:25 p.m.

Carson plans to trade the cold of Iowa for the warmth of Florida for a few days.

A campaign spokesman says the Republican presidential candidate is heading home to West Palm Beach after the Iowa caucuses.

Carson plans to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on Thursday and then will head to New Hampshire.

The plan is to leave Iowa Monday night in hopes of getting ahead of a winter storm.

"Not standing down" — that's what spokesman Jason Osborne posted on Carson's Twitter feed.

8:15 p.m.

Trump's voice is hoarse but he still has lots to say.

He's telling 2,000 Republicans in suburban Des Moines that "we're going to win again" and take back the country.

Trump is criticizing the Obama administration's foreign and trade policy, promising to command respect for the United States in the world.

Trump says his mission in the presidential race is to "make America great again."

8:05 p.m.

Early arrivals at Iowa's Democratic caucus sites are split among health care, the economy and income inequality as the top issue facing the country.

That's according to preliminary results of an entrance poll at caucus locations.

Almost three in 10 say experience is the most important quality in deciding which candidate to back. What's next? Honesty and someone who cares about people like them.

Six in 10 say the next president should continue President Barack Obama's policies.

The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research as voters arrived at 40 randomly selected sites for Democratic caucuses in Iowa.

7:55 p.m.

Republican or Democrat — Jeb Bush is criticizing them all.

President Obama. Clinton. Trump. Cruz. Marco Rubio.

Bush tells supporters in New Hampshire that Obama is "a failed president." And the former Florida governor is hitting Trump — though not by name — for "insulting" his way toward the presidency.

The latest statewide polls in New Hampshire show Bush in a fight for second place. Trump holds a commanding lead.

7:45 p.m.

Here's what's at stake on the delegate front in the Iowa caucuses.

The Democrats have 44 delegates at stake and the Republicans have 30. That's just a small sliver of what it will take to win each party's nomination.

For Democrats, it will take 2,382 delegates to win the nomination. For Republicans, it will take 1,237.

Clinton starts off with a big lead because of endorsements by Democratic superdelegates. They're the party leaders who can support the candidate of their choice.

Clinton has 362 endorsements to just eight for Sanders. O'Malley has two.

Republicans don't have nearly as many superdelegates.

7:37 p.m.

Let the caucusing begin.

On a winter night, Iowans are meeting in party caucuses and expressing their preferences for the Democratic and Republican candidates in the race for the 2016 nominations.

At stake is crucial early momentum in the campaign. For some candidates, the future of their White House hopes may lie in the balance.

7:10 p.m.

Early arrivals at Iowa's Republican caucus sites are deeply unhappy with how the federal government is working.

That's according to preliminary results of an entrance poll of those arriving at caucus locations.

Four in 10 say they're angry. One-half say they're dissatisfied.

Almost four in 10 say the most important quality in a candidate is someone who shares their values.

Also, two in 10 want someone who can bring needed change.

The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research as voters arrived at 40 randomly selected sites for Democratic and Republican caucuses in Iowa.

7 p.m.

The Republican race in Iowa seems to be a three-way contest among Trump, Cruz and Rubio.

That's according to entrance poll interviews with early arrivals to caucus sites conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

On the Democratic side, the race appears tight between Clinton and Sanders.

5:50 p.m.

For the election night party in Iowa, Cruz's campaign has booked a country music band that bills itself as having "blue collar roots and a fun attitude.'

Red, white and blue banners with Cruz's campaign slogans "Trusted" and "Cruzin' to Victory" are hanging from the ceiling of the Elwell Family Food Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

But most of the attention will be focused on two large video screens that will show results from the Iowa caucuses.

5:20 p.m.

Even before Iowa's caucuses get underway, Trump is predicting "a tremendous victory."

That's his message to supporters in a hotel ballroom in Cedar Rapids.

Trump is banking on a stronger-than-usual turnout. Polling shows many potential caucus-goers are new to the process.

Some of Trump's children plan to attend caucuses around the state and promote their dad's candidacy.

5:06 p.m.

Chris Christie says he's ready to be president and that Obama wasn't in 2008.

Christie's message to New Hampshire voters: Don't put another first-term senator in the White House.

It's a knock by the New Jersey governor on two of the Republicans in the race — freshmen Sens. Cruz of Texas and Rubio of Florida.

Christie says they've never managed anything — and running the country isn't something they're up to.

Obama was a first-term senator from Illinois when he beat Republican John McCain in 2008.

4:37 p.m.

The day began for Christie in Iowa and ended in New Hampshire.

The Iowa caucuses were still hours away and Christie already was back in New Hampshire, appealing for support in the state's primary Feb. 9.

The New Jersey governor has focused much of his campaigning in New Hampshire and hopes for a strong showing.

2:48 p.m.

The National Weather Service says temperatures in Iowa are expected to remain above freezing when hundreds of thousands of people gather Monday night for the caucuses.

It's good news for presidential candidates who've been begging supporters to attend caucuses.

Look for snow to move in late at night, with up to a foot forecast. That could complicate the getaway plans of candidates and others set to head to New Hampshire for the Feb. 9 primary.