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2016 US Presidential Election Officially Starts in Iowa
   2016-02-02 18:33:29    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Mao Yaqing

On the night of the Iowa Caucuses, Hilary Clinton and her family celebrate the victory with her supporters at Drake University, Des Moines, February 1st, 2016. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com/He Fei]

By He Fei, CRI Correspondent in Washington D.C.

The first votes in the 2016 Presidential nominating contest were cast in the US State of Iowa on Tuesday.

On the Republican side, the night saw a big victory for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who finished four percentage points ahead of real-estate mogul and national poll leader Donald Trump.

Things are much tighter on the Democratic side, with Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finishing just one point ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

For more details, CRI's Qi Zhi reports.


Caucus goers met at sites around the state to show support for their candidate and be counted in the first contest of the 2016 Presidential nominating cycle.

This year the Iowa caucuses drew many first-time caucus-goers.

John Clark is one of them. He says that he took the time to caucus in order to make his voice heard.

"I feel like it's part of being American as you get the chance to do this, you get the chance to say what you believe in, and have a voice and vote."

Thanking his supporters, Ted Cruz relished in a major victory over Donald Trump, the national poll leader.

"Iowa has sent notice that the republican nominee in the next president of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment, will not be chose by the lobbyists but will be chosen by the most incredible power for force where all sovereignty resides in our nation by we the people, the American people."

Trump is a controversial figure among Iowa voters.

"I think he can bring the rights to change the government back to the people."

"I can say I will not be supporting Trump. Our views just don't agree. I believe in equality and respect for all people and I don't think he does."

Despite a disappointing second place finish for the often bombastic real-estate mogul, Trump was gracious in conceding defeat.

"I am really honored. And I want to congratulate Ted and I want to congratulate all of the incredible candidates including Mike Huckabee."

Analysts say that Florida Senator Marco Rubio is likely to enjoy increased momentum going forward.

Rubio finished a solid third, just one percentage point behind Trump but well ahead of the rest of the GOP field.

Hillary Clinton endured a nail-biter of a night that finished in a virtual tie with Bernie Sanders.

Clinton says she will keep fighting on in her address to supporters.

"I want you to know I will keep doing what I have done my entire life. I will keep standing up for you. I will keep fighting for you. I will always work to achieve the America that I believe in where the promise of that dream that we hold out to our children and our grandchildren never fades but inspires generations to come. Join me, let's go win the nomination."

Although for many, tonight is just the beginning of a long slog to the two major parties national conventions in August, it also marks the end of the line for candidates who failed to gain traction.

Two contenders: Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, dropped out after poor showings today in Iowa.

For CRI, I'm Qi Zhi.

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