Staff and volunteers of the Hillary Clinton Burlington, Iowa campaign field office cheer as Hillary Clinton speaks on the television at the Boogaloo Cafe on Feb. 1, 2016 in Burlington, Iowa. / AFP / Michael B. Thomas
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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz soundly defeated billionaire Donald Trump in Iowa's Republican nominating contest on Monday, upending the party's presidential race and creating a three-way competition with establishment candidate Senator Marco Rubio.Cruz, a conservative lawmaker from Texas, won the first state Republican contest in the 2016 race with 28 percent of the vote compared with 24 percent for businessman Trump.With Democrat Clinton prevailing by only four delegates, according to party figures, Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, declared the result a "virtual tie". Cruz's win and Rubio's strong showing could dent the momentum for Trump, whose candidacy has alarmed the Republican establishment and been marked by controversies ranging from his calls to ban Muslims temporarily from entering the United States to promising to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.An uncharacteristically humbled Trump, 69, congratulated Cruz and said he still expected to win the Republican nomination.Rubio, 44, may benefit from that momentum as much as Cruz.Republican establishment candidates more traditional than Rubio did not fare well in Iowa.
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