It looks like Ted Cruz is peaking at the right time…
The 45-year-old Cuban-American United States Senator and presidential hopeful won the Iowa Republican caucuses, in the first vote of the US presidential campaign.
Cruz bested frontrunner Donald Trump, raising questions about the billionaire’s reliance on his celebrity instead of traditional political organization.
Meanwhile, fellow Latino Marco Rubio‘s stronger-than-expected showing could mark him as the establishment’s best hope against a grassroots revolt in next week’s New Hampshire primary and beyond.
Cruz’s big win sets him up as a force to be reckoned with in the delegate-rich, Southern states to come and offers movement conservatives hope that one of their own can become the Republican nominee for the first time since Ronald Reagan.
“Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and the next President of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment,” Cruz said.
With about 99% of the GOP vote in, Cruz was ahead of Trump 28% to 24%. Rubio was at 23%.
“It is breathtaking to see what happens when so many Americans stand up and decide they’re fed up with what happens in Washington and they want something different. They want a leader they can trust, they want a leader that stands for them against the corruption of Washington,” Cruz told CNN.
Rubio will also leave Iowa with a leg up over other establishment rivals including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who have a lot at stake in New Hampshire.
“This is the moment they said would never happen. For months, they told us we had no chance,” a jubilant Rubio said. “They told me that I needed to wait my turn, that I needed to wait in line. But tonight here in Iowa, the people of this great state have sent a very clear message — after seven years of Barack Obama, we are not waiting any longer to take our country back.”