Here’s What’s Happening:
- Donald Trump on Wednesday said Ted Cruz committed electoral fraud in Iowa, leading to the Texas senator’s victory there on Monday night. He wants the results nullified.
- Also on Wednesday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul ended his campaign for the White House. Democrat Martin O’Malley and Republican Mike Huckabee suspended their presidential campaigns on Monday after falling well short in the vote.
- On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared victory over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in a very tight race.
- Also vying for the GOP nomination are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; neurosurgeon Ben Carson; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
Palin Accuses Cruz Of Lies, “Dirty Politics”
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday accused Ted Cruz of “dirty politics,” after he had a surprising victory over Donald Trump in Monday’s Iowa caucus.
Her comments on Facebook came after Trump earlier accused the Texas senator of “stealing” the victory through electoral fraud.
“Sen. Ted Cruz was spot on when he once noted that ‘millions of Americans are asking for accountability and truth.’ Which is why it’s so curious — and saddens us — this lack of accountability with the lies of Cruz’s own campaign,” Palin wrote.
“The Cruz Campaign’s actions to destroy a good man’s efforts to serve are no different than Obama’s practice of not holding anyone accountable,” she wrote. — David Mack
Here’s the full post:
Trump Says Cruz “Stole Iowa,” Calls For New Poll
Donald Trump on Wednesday accused rival Ted Cruz of electoral fraud, after the Texas senator surprised many by claiming victory in Monday’s Iowa Caucus.
In a series of tweets, the billionaire New Yorker called for a fresh election to be held in Iowa due to the Cruz campaign’s “fraud.”
Trump highlighted the Cruz campaign’s spreading of a CNN report during Monday’s vote that Dr. Ben Carson would not be immediately be traveling to New Hampshire or South Carolina to suggest the retired neurosurgeon was getting out of the race. Staffers did not circulate a statement from the Carson campaign that clarified that he was making a planned trip home to rest and get fresh clothes, before returning to campaigning. Cruz apologized on Tuesday to Carson for the incident.
Trump also pointed to mailers the Cruz campaign sent to Iowa residents last week that told people they had committed a “voting violation” by not voting and urged them to caucus to “improve [their] score.” Iowa’s secretary of state rebuked the Cruz campaign for “misrepresenting” election law.
“Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus,” Trump wrote Wednesday, “either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.”
The tweets marked a sudden change in tone from the billionaire developer, after he made a conciliatory concession speech on Monday evening in Iowa, where he placed second. “We finished second, and I want to tell you something, I’m just honored. I’m really honored,” Trump said. “And I want to congratulate Ted.”
— David Mack
It’s Official, Hillary Takes Iowa
Clinton has checked Iowa off her list as she gets to work in New Hampshire.
Trump Tweets For First Time Since Losing Iowa
Shortly after CNN officially declared him a loser, Donald Trump lumbered onto a stage at the Sheraton hotel, peered out over the half-empty ballroom of spectators, and did his very best impression of a gracious runner-up.
“Thank you very much. I love you people. I love you people. Thank you. Unbelievable. I have to start by saying, I simply love the people of Iowa. Unbelievable.”
He continued like this for several minutes, thanking his supporters, congratulating his opponents, and sounding nothing at all like the chest-thumping, trouble-making alpha male that has been a campaign sensation for months. When he finished his remarks, one reporter in the room, speaking on behalf of the nation’s news media, concluded, “I don’t like magnanimous Trump.”
He wasn’t alone. So how will Trump — and his fans — cope with his bruising loss in Iowa?
McKay Coppins looks at the fallout within the Trump campaign. Read more here.
Clinton In Narrow Victory
Clinton has eked out a narrow victory against Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses.
With 1682 of 1683 precincts reporting, Clinton has 49.9% of the vote, while Sanders has 49.6%.
Clinton’s campaign released a statement declaring themselves the victor in Iowa. “After thorough reporting — and analysis — of results, there is no uncertainty and Secretary Clinton has clearly won the most national and state delegates.”
The race between Clinton and Sanders was so close, that in some cases a coin flip was actually used to decide which candidate would win a county delegate.
In at least six precincts across Iowa Monday, Democratic caucus votes ended in a tie, forcing a coin toss.
The state’s official rules for Democratic caucuses allow for a coin toss to decide a winner in case of a tie.
In a video posted by Univision reporter Fernando Peinado, a coin toss was used to break a tie in Des Moines. Clinton won the toss on a supporter’s “tails” call.
“So our official delegate for this precinct is Hillary Clinton. It was very, very close. Remember this is a caucus, it was very, very close. It was called by a coin toss,” said Lisa Carlson, who is a Sanders supporter.
As FiveThirtyEight points out, a delegate awarded on a coin toss is only for a county — not a statewide delegate which carries greater importance.
Jim Gilmore Far Exceeded Expectations In Iowa
Last Friday, Gilmore said he would consider one vote in Iowa a victory.
“If I get one vote, frankly, in Iowa, I’ll consider it a victory,” Gilmore said on the Iowa radio show Mickelson in the Morning. “A single vote, I’ll consider it a victory. Because I’ve told the press that I couldn’t compete in Iowa because of the high expense of the process. So, you know, if all of a sudden, what amounts to a write-in vote basically, if people decide that they actually think I’m the right person to be the president, I’d be grateful for their support and I want your listeners to know that.”
Here’s what the Republican field looks like with 99% of results in
After 99% of all Republican precincts reported results, according to the Iowa Secretary of State’s website:
*27.7% of caucus-goers supported Cruz
*24.3% supported Trump
*23.1% supported Rubio
*9.3% supported Carson
*4.5% supported Paul
*2.8% supported Bush
*1.9% supported Fiorina
*1.9% supported Kasich
*1.8% supported Huckabee
*1.8% supported Christie
*1.0% supported Santorum
*0.0% supported Gilmore
Boos, Glitches, And The Rocky Theme At Bernie HQ During Clinton Speech
DES MOINES — When Hillary Clinton’s voice played through the speakers at Bernie Sanders’s caucus night party here Monday night, the crowd booed. When glitches caused the video of Clinton’s caucus night speech to freeze, the crowd cheered.
When Clinton could be heard saying “I am a progressive,” the crowd lost its collective mind with groans and boos.
This was the scene at the Des Moines airport Holiday Inn, where Sanders supporters milled around for hours watching results trickle in from the caucuses. The final result was basically a tie, theoretically giving both Clinton and Sanders a lot to cheer about but in reality re-engergizing a Sanders campaign that privately had worried their movement-based effort wouldn’t get the job done in the all-important opening round of the Democratic nomination contest. — Evan McMorris-Santoro
Sanders: “What Iowa has begun tonight is a political revolution”
In his closing speech after the Iowa Caucus, Bernie Sanders called his tight race with Hillary Clinton “a virtual tie,” relishing the opportunity to give his stump speech for a national audience.
“What Iowa has begun tonight is a political revolution,” Sanders said.
Visibly delighted, Sanders reminded his supporters that only nine months ago he had “no political organization, no money, and no name recognition,” and that he’d managed to take on “the most powerful political organization” in the country without the help of any Super PACs.
The Vermont senator then went through a laundry list of the policy issues that have defined his campaign, including campaign finance reform, an increased minimum wage, economic equality for women, free college education, mass incarceration, and climate change.
But, as in almost all his speeches, Sanders’ central theme was his commitment to fighting income inequality.
“This is a country that is based on fairness,” Sanders said. “And it is not fair when the top 0.01% own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. So, are you ready to hear a radical idea? Well, so is America. And the radical idea is that we are going to create an economy that works for working families — not just for millionaires.”
Asked About Jeb, Top Rubio Backer Says It’s Time For Other Candidates To Drop Out
A top supporter of Sen. Marco Rubio called on his rivals to drop out of the race for president, calling his strong finish in Iowa a decisive sign to Republicans who want to take back the White House.
“Tonight’s a clear message: If you’re another candidate and you want to win in November, you should get behind Marco Rubio,” said Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, in response to a question about Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “They should drop out.”
Gardner’s words — he lamented that “this race is setting records for how much money Republicans are spending against Republicans” — marks the opening of a new phase of the race: intense pressure on Bush, and Govs. Chris Christie and John Kasich, to at the very least dial back their attacks on Rubio. The Florida senator was the only one of them to finish with double digits in Iowa and heads into New Hampshire with the momentum that has typically been key to presidential campaigns.
Bush’s super PAC, Right to Rise, has spent tens of millions of dollars trying to stop Rubio, a wave of negative advertising that has infuriated establishment Republicans who see Donald Trump and Ted Cruz as the greater threats. Rubio aides declined to speak on the record about Bush in Iowa — indeed, Rubio didn’t mention Bush’s name — but they made no secret of their disdain for Rubio’s former mentor.
“Jeb Bush and Mike Murphy should reevaluate their strategy of trying to tear down Marco, because it’s obviously not working,” said a Rubio aide.
Hillary Clinton “Breathing A Big Sigh Of Relief” Amid Virtual Tie With Sanders
As results showed her neck-in-neck with rival Bernie Sanders, Clinton said she is looking forward to debating the best direction for the Democratic party.
“I am excited about really getting into the debate with Sen. Sanders about the best way forward to fight for us and America,” she said.
She added that she plans to keep fighting for what she believes in because there is “so much stake in this election.”
“I will keep standing up for you, I will keep fighting for you,” she said. “I will always work to achieve the America that I believe in, where the promise of that dream that we hold out to our children and our grandchildren never fades, but inspires generations to come.”
Ted Cruz: “Courageous Conservatives Said, ‘Yes, We Can’”
In his victory speech after winning the Iowa caucus, Cruz thanked his supporters for handing him a win that he said no one in the media thought was possible.
“When the media said, in one voice, ‘A conservative cannot win!,’ courageous conservatives said ‘Yes, we can!’” Cruz said, echoing the sitting president’s famous campaign slogan.
Cruz also repeated his critique of “the Washington establishment” and the Obama administration, saying that not one personality could hope to fix the damage done in the last seven years.
The Texas senator also emphasized his commitment to “free markets, constitutional liberty, and Judeo-Christian values,” as well as the “revolutionary understanding that all men and all women are created equal, and that our rights do not come from the Democratic Party or the Republican Party or even the Tea Party, but from our creator.”
“Weeping may last for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning,” Cruz said, quoting the Bible. “Tonight, Iowa has proclaimed to the world, ‘morning is coming.’”
Donald Trump “Honored” To Finish Second In Iowa
Trump didn’t live up to his expectations in Iowa, finishing in second to Ted Cruz. In a brief speech to his supporters, he was uncharacteristically subdued and gracious to the other candidates in the race.
“We finished second, and I want to tell you something, I’m just honored. I’m really honored,” Trump said. “And I want to congratulate Ted, and I want to congratulate all of the incredible candidates, including Mike Huckabee, who’s become a really good friend of mine. Congratulations to everybody.”
Trump said he was looking ahead to New Hampshire and South Carolina, where, he said, he hopes to proclaim victory.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.
Reporting by Ruby Cramer, McKay Coppins, Evan McMorris-Santoro, Rosie Gray, Jim Waterson, and Ben Smith in Iowa; and Andrew Kaczynski, Megan Apper, Stephanie McNeal, Adrian Carrasquillo, Jessica Simeone, Kyle Blaine, and Tom Namako in New York.
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