Ted Cruz, the first-term Texas senator who has made his rabble-rousing Senate tenure the centerpiece of his anti-establishment campaign, has won the Iowa caucuses and taken Donald Trump down in a major way.
"Tonight is a victory for the grassroots,” Cruz said in his victory speech in Iowa. "Tonight is a victory for millions of Americans who have shouldered the burden of seven years of Washington deals run amok. Tonight is a victory for every American who has watched in dismay as career politicians in Washington in both parties refuse to listen and too often failed to keep their commitments to the people."
Heading into Iowa Monday, TPM Poll Tracker showed Trump with a commanding lead over Cruz with 29.6 percent to 23.5 percent of the vote. As caucus results in Iowa came in, however, Trump underperformed and only managed to win about 24 percent of the vote, with more than 98 percent of precincts reporting.
Cruz was able to effectively knock down frontrunner Trump by capturing the appetite for an outsider and mobilizing an extensive ground game operation that included housing for out-of-state volunteers in the days and weeks leading up to the first-in-the-nation contest and an ambitious and meticulous county-by-county travel schedule.
"From day one, this campaign has been a movement," Cruz said. "Whatever Washington says. They cannot keep the people down."
Trump ran a fly in and fly out campaign that was marked by big old rallies in a state that prides itself on pressing the flesh of presidential candidates. Throughout the campaign in Iowa, Trump's campaign stayed quiet on its turnout game, which turned out to fall short of Cruz's operation.
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