Sen. Ted Cruz has won the Iowa caucuses, riding his message that he was the most consistent conservative in the race, while onetime front-runner Donald Trump edged out for second a surging Sen. Marco Rubio.
Cruz took 29 percent of the vote as of 10:30 p.m. EST. Trump, who has led the polls in Iowa and nationally through much of the campaign season, came in second with 24 percent of the vote.
Rubio outperformed projections and finished right on Trump’s heels with a strong 23 percent. Rubio congratulated Cruz on the night’s result in a triumphant speech before at his watch party in Des Moines before heading to the airport to fly immediately to New Hampshire, the first primary state, which votes on Feb. 9.
Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson finished a distant fourth in the race.
Cruz bet his entire campaign on winning Iowa, and the gamble paid off. He set a record for the most votes ever cast for a single candidate on caucus night in the state.
Read more: Washington Examiner