After Iowa, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio look to New Hampshire

(From AP)

A victorious Ted Cruz and buoyant Marco Rubio emerged from Iowa with compelling claims to the outsider and mainstream mantles in the fractured Republican primary, as the presidential race shifted overnight to New Hampshire.

Democrats were girding for a protracted slugfest between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, locked in a virtual tie.

Marco Rubio (left) and Ted Cru

Marco Rubio (left) and Ted Cruz

Donald Trump, uncharacteristically humble after a second-place Iowa finish, was headed for far friendlier territory in New Hampshire, where the billionaire firebrand had a commanding lead.

Amid historically large turnout in Iowa, the unexpected benefactor was Rubio, who came within striking distance of Trump. Republicans had already been looking to New Hampshire to winnow their congested field, and the Florida senator’s strong showing bolsters his case that Republicans should coalesce behind him as the mainstream alternative to the rowdier Trump or Cruz.

“We have taken the first step, but an important step, to winning the nomination,” Rubio told supporters in Des Moines.

Monday’s Democratic contest was a cliffhanger — “The results tonight are the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history,” said state party chairman Andy McGuire — a far cry from the coronation for Clinton that most Democrats once expected.

Even with an elaborate campaign operation and backing from most Democratic Party leaders, Clinton was unable to stem a flood of enthusiasm from young and liberal voters for Sanders, the eccentric Vermont senator whose viability in a general election is still deeply questioned. Read More



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