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Cruz tops Trump in Iowa caucuses, Dem race tight

Posted at 10:10 PM, Feb 01, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — It’s Ted Cruz  on top in the lead off Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa.

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

Ted Cruz was on 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.

There are big differences when it comes to the age of caucus-goers in Iowa who say they are supporting Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

More than 8 in 10 Democratic caucus-goers under 30 say they came to support Sanders on Monday night, as did nearly 6 in 10 of those between age 30 and 44.

But nearly 6 in 10 caucus-goers between age 45 and 64, and 7 in 10 of those 65 and over, came out to back Clinton.

That’s according to entrance poll interviews with people arriving at their caucus sites.

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.

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.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz the top choice among very conservative caucus-goers in Iowa, while Donald 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 Marco Rubio and Trump.

Half of GOP caucus-goers say they prefer a candidate from outside the political establishment, while 4 in 10 say they prefer someone with political experience.

The crowd has come alive for Marco 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.”

Ben Carson plans to trade the cold of Iowa for the warmer 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 on Thursday and then will head to New Hampshire.

The plan is to leave Iowa on 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.

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

He’s telling 2,000 Republicans in suburban Des Moines, Iowa, 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.”

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 3 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.

Republican or Democrat — Jeb Bush is criticizing them all.

President Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump.  Ted 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.