Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas prevailed over his competitors in the Iowa Republican caucus Monday night.
Multiple news outlets called the race at about 9:30 P.M. Monday in favor of Cruz, who received 28 percent of the vote.
Businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) followed neck and neck behind with 24 percent and 23 percent, respectively, when the race was called for Cruz. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson held 9 percent of the Iowa vote. Each of the other candidates polled at under 5 percent.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won Iowa in 2008, suspended his campaign following the results.
Recent surveys indicated that Cruz could best Trump in Iowa, and the Texas senator has focused on turning out the state’s evangelicals. Republican voter turnout in Iowa was set to reach a record-high of 170,000 Monday night.
But the final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll released over the weekend had Donald Trump winning 28 percent to Sen. Ted Cruz’s 23 percent, giving Trump supporters confidence going into the Monday night.
Early entrance polls Monday indicated that Trump led Cruz by an identical margin, while Rubio followed close behind with 21 percent.
“It all begins today–WE WILL FINALLY TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK AND MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted Monday before voting began.
Republicans will next turn their attention to New Hampshire, where the GOP primary will take place next week. Trump holds a significant lead in the state, according to recent CNN/WMUR polling.
However, more than a third of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire were still undecided as of January 30.
Trump maintained the top spot among the GOP field nationally going into the Iowa caucus, according to a consensus of surveys. An average of polls provided by Real Clear Politics put Trump at 36 percent support among likely Republican primary voters, followed by Cruz with 20 percent, Rubio with 10 percent, and Carson with 8 percent.
Sen. Rand Paul (Kent.), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore all polled at 5 percent or less each nationally going into Monday night’s race.