The Latest: Cruz wins in Iowa, Dems in virtual tie

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at Green County Community Center, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Jefferson, Iowa. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After months of polls, rallies, debates and ads, the first votes in the 2016 presidential race were cast Monday night in Iowa.

Candidates have been spending the day trying to gain last-minute support and set the tone for the rest of their campaign.

Below, you’ll find the latest on the 2016 race for president on the day of the country’s leadoff Iowa caucuses (all local times):

1 a.m.

How close was the Iowa race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? Democrats flipped coins in some precincts to determine how to award an extra county delegate, a rare but longstanding procedure to break ties.

Party rules call for a coin flip when support for candidates is even but a precinct has an odd number of delegates to award.

The Des Moines Register reports that Clinton won coin tosses at precincts in Davenport and Des Moines.

The newspaper says party officials ordered another coin flip to decide a dispute between the campaigns at an Ames precinct. Clinton won that toss, too.

Iowa Democratic Party spokesman Sam Lau noted that the flips were to determine county convention delegates, which are only fractions of the state delegates awarded to candidates.
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 12:50 a.m.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign team is casting her performance in the Iowa caucuses as a win, even though she is separated from rival Bernie Sanders by just a few hundred votes.

Q&A: Why do Iowa and New Hampshire get to vote first? (Photo: AP Photo/Dave Weaver)
Q&A: Why do Iowa and New Hampshire get to vote first? (Photo: AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tells reporters that, “we believe strongly that we won tonight.”

He’s pointing to Clinton’s capture of at least 22 delegates to the party’s national convention to Sanders’ 21, with one left to be decided.

Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri says: “We feel like we have great momentum going into New Hampshire. This was a very hard fought state.”

The Associated Press is not declaring a winner in the Iowa caucuses at this time because of the closeness of the race.
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12:38 a.m.

Iowa Democratic Party officials say they are gathering results from a small number of precincts where those in charge failed to report results in Monday’s caucuses.

Polk County Democratic Party Chairman Tom Henderson says he is frustrated that some precincts in his county have failed to report results in a timely fashion.

By midnight, he says he’d tracked down results from 166 of the 167 precincts in the state’s largest county and that someone is being sent to knock on the door of the chairman of the last outstanding precinct.

Henderson says, “I’m frustrated because we do things better than that.”

But he adds, “This is a situation where we have an election that is a near tie. We want to make sure it’s accurate.”
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11:45 p.m.

Ted Cruz’s victory in the Iowa caucuses means he’ll collect eight delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Donald Trump and Marco Rubio each get seven from the opening contest in the 2016 presidential race.

Coming next is Ben Carson with three, followed by Rand Paul and Jeb Bush — one each.

Delegates are awarded in proportion to the statewide vote.

There are three delegates still to be awarded.
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11:25 p.m.

How did Ted Cruz do it?

His Iowa victory was propelled by Republican caucus-goers who said they want a candidate who shares their values.

That’s according to entrance poll interviews of those arriving at presidential caucus sites on Monday night.

Two-thirds of caucus-goers were born-again Christians, and Cruz was favored over billionaire businessman Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio among that group.

More than 4 in 10 Republican caucus-goers said the candidate quality that mattered most to their vote was that the candidate shares their values.

Among those who said so Cruz on the support of more than 3 in 10, versus just 2 in 10 for Trump or Rubio.

The survey was conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.
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11:05 p.m.

However Iowa’s Democratic caucuses turn out, Hillary Clinton is assured of at least half of the state’s pledged delegates.

The Associated Press has awarded 43 of the 44 pledged delegates at stake. Clinton currently leads Bernie Sanders, 22 to 21.

Her delegate lead so far is due to a stronger performance in a congressional district in the southwestern part of the state.

The remaining delegate to be awarded will go to the winner of Iowa.

Sanders says he and Clinton are in `virtual tie” in the Monday night caucuses.
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10:55 p.m.

Bernie Sanders says it looks like he and Hillary Clinton are in a “virtual tie” for first place in the Iowa’s Democratic caucuses.

The Vermont senator is congratulating his chief rival for waging a “very vigorous campaign” in the first contest of the 2016 election.

Sanders — who calls himself a democratic socialist — says he came to Iowa nine months ago with no money, name recognition or political organization. He says he took on “the most powerful political organization in the United States of America” — namely the Clinton family.

Sanders says the people of Iowa have sent a profound message — that it’s too late for what he calls “establishment politics” in the United States.
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 10:50 p.m.

Voter turnout for the Iowa Republican caucuses was up when compared with the count four years ago.

There were more than 180,000 people at Monday’s GOP caucuses. That’s up from about 121,000 in 2012.
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10:40 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she’s excited for the campaign debate ahead with Bernie Sanders now that they’re the only two candidates left in the Democratic presidential primary.

It’s too close to call right now in Monday night’s Iowa caucuses. But there’s already been a big development: Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has dropped out of the race.

Clinton tells supporters that she’s breathing a big sigh of relief. She says Democrats have a clear idea about what their campaign stands for and what’s best for the country.

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10:25 p.m.

Democrat Martin O’Malley is pulling out of the presidential race after the Iowa caucuses on Monday night, but says the party must “hold strong” behind the eventual nominee.

The former Maryland governor says Democrats must stick to their beliefs, including a responsibility to advance the common good.

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10:02 p.m.

Ted Cruz tells The Associated Press that his victory in Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses is a victory for the grassroots, and he says his triumph is part of a larger movement of conservatives against what he calls the “Washington cartel.”

Cruz says his win “was a victory for courageous conservatives in Iowa and all around the country.”

The first-term Texas senator says that from “Day One, we built our campaign as a movement for Americans to organize and rally to band together against the disaster of the Washington cartel.”

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9:58 p.m.

Donald Trump says he’s honored by what he’s calling his second-place finish in Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses.

Trump is speaking at an event with supporters after Ted Cruz was declared the winner of the Monday night contest — the first of the 2016 election.

Trump says that when he started the campaign, he was advised not to compete in Iowa because he couldn’t finish in the top 10. Trump says he felt he had to do it and wanted to give it a shot.

Trump is congratulating Cruz and the other candidates. He says he thinks he’ll win the New Hampshire primary next week and that he will go on to be the GOP nominee and win the White House.

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9:50 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz might have picked up momentum by winning the Iowa caucuses, but he’s not going to collect many delegates.

With his victory, Cruz will get at least eight delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Donald Trump will get at least seven, Marco Rubio will get at least six, Ben Carson will get at least two and Rand Paul will get at least one.

Delegates are awarded in proportion to the statewide vote. There are six delegates still to be awarded.

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9:45 p.m.

“We want Ted” is the chant at Ted Cruz’s jubilant caucus-night party in Iowa.

And supporters of the Texas senator — who won Monday night’s Republican caucuses — are soon to get their wish. Cruz is flying from Cedar Rapids to Des Moines to join the celebration.

The crowd erupted in cheers when TV screen showed that the race was being called for their favored candidate.

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9:40 p.m.

Republican Mike Huckabee says he’s ending his second bid for the White House.

The former Arkansas governor writes on Twitter that he’s “officially suspending my campaign.” He’s thanking his backers for their loyal support, adding the hashtag #ImWithHuck.

He joined the race last May, with an announcement in the hometown he shares with former President Bill Clinton. But Huckabee became just one candidate in a crowded field that included many political newcomers.

His campaign failed to take off with candidates like billionaire Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio dominating the race.

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9:27 p.m.

It’s Ted Cruz on top in the leadoff Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa.

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

Cruz won 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.

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9:20 p.m.

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.

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9 p.m.

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.

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8:50 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is 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.

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8:35 p.m.

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.”

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8:25 p.m.

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.

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8:15 p.m.

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.”

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8:05 p.m.

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.

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7:55 p.m.

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.

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7:45 p.m.

Here’s what’s at stake on the delegate front in the Iowa caucuses.

The Democrats have 44 delegates at stake and the Republicans have 30. That’s just a small sliver of what it will take to win each party’s nomination.

For Democrats, it will take 2,382 delegates to win the nomination. For Republicans, it will take 1,237.

Hillary Clinton starts off with a big lead because of endorsements by Democratic superdelegates. They’re the party leaders who can support the candidate of their choice.

Clinton has 362 endorsements to just eight for Bernie Sanders. Martin O’Malley has two.

Republicans don’t have nearly as many superdelegates.

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7:37 p.m.

Let the caucusing begin.

On a winter night, Iowans are meeting in party caucuses and express their preferences for the Democratic and Republican candidates in the race for the 2016 nominations.

At stake is crucial early momentum in the campaign. For some candidates, the future of their White House hopes may lie in the balance.

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7:10 p.m.

Early arrivals at Iowa’s Republican caucus sites are deeply unhappy with how the federal government is working.

That’s according to preliminary results of an entrance poll of those arriving at caucus locations.

Four in 10 say they’re angry. One-half say they’re dissatisfied.

Almost 4 in 10 say the most important quality in a candidate is someone who shares their values.

Also, 2 in 10 want someone who can bring needed change.

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 in Iowa.

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7 p.m.

The Republican race in Iowa seems to be a three-way contest among Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

That’s according to entrance poll interviews with early arrivals to caucus sites conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

On the Democratic side, the race appears tight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

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5:50 p.m.

For the election night party in Iowa, Ted Cruz’s campaign has booked a country music band that bills itself as having “blue collar roots and a fun attitude.’

Red, white and blue banners with Cruz’s campaign slogans “Trusted” and “Cruzin’ to Victory” are hanging from the ceiling of the Elwell Family Food Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

But most of the attention will be focused on two large video screens that will show results from the Iowa caucuses.

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5:20 p.m.

Even before Iowa’s caucuses get underway, Donald Trump is predicting “a tremendous victory.”

That’s his message to supporters in a hotel ballroom in Cedar Rapids.

Trump is banking on a stronger-than-usual turnout. Polling shows many potential caucus-goers are new to the process.

Some of Trump’s children plan to attend caucuses around the state and promote their dad’s candidacy.

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5:06 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is telling New Hampshire voters that Republicans shouldn’t make the same mistake Democrats made in 2008: electing an inexperienced one-term senator as president who isn’t ready to lead.

President Barack Obama was a first-term U.S. senator when he was elected to the White House in 2008. Like Obama — and unlike a governor like himself, Christie implied — Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz aren’t ready for the big job.

“These guys have never managed anything. Rubio and Cruz have never managed a thing, yet we’re thinking of making the same mistake from a leadership perspective that Democrats made eight years ago,” he said.

Christie said he could’ve run for president four years ago, but knew he wasn’t ready.

“The only think worse than running for president and losing is running for president and winning and not being ready,” he said. “To put a first-term U.S. senator back in office immediately after the last seven years we’ve just had is crazy. These guys are not ready,” he said.

Christie spent Monday morning in Iowa but quickly headed back to New Hampshire, where he has focused much of his efforts.

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4:37 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has ditched Iowa for New Hampshire, where he has focused much of his campaign. But he told voters at the first of his two town hall meetings they should be thinking of a particular Iowa couple when they cast their vote on Feb. 9.

Speaking in Hopkinton, N.H., Christie described a husband and wife in Burlington, Iowa, whose oldest son is heading to Iraq in a few months. Christie said seeing the tears in the woman’s eyes made him think both of his own experience as a father and about previous presidents who have sent young men and women off to war.

“When you start to think about the last eight days of this election, I hope when you make your decision … at least part of the time will be consumed by thinking about that mom and dad, because your choice will have more of an impact on them than on any other kind of family in this country,” he said.

“In the end, the person you select next Tuesday night is going to be the person lots of families are going to depend on, and is going to be the personification of our country, the person who symbolizes what this country stands for,” he said. “It’s not only important from a substative perspective, it’s important in terms of what kind of image we portray to the world.”

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2:48 p.m.

The National Weather Service says temperatures in Iowa are expected to remain above freezing when hundreds of thousands of people gather Monday night for the caucuses. That’s great news the candidates, who have been begging their supporters to turnout to caucus.

But Meteorologist Kelsey Angle says snow will move into southwest Iowa late Monday and spread through much of the state overnight. Up to a foot of snow is forecast along with wind gusts reaching 40 mph. That could complicate the getaway plans of candidates, their campaigns and others heading to New Hampshire for the next-up primary on Feb. 9.

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2:36 p.m.

Republican Donald Trump is asking his supporters to keep an eye out for potential tomato-throwers at a rally in Cedar Rapids.

Trump says he was informed by security before walking onstage at his final pre-caucus rally that someone in the Doubletree Hilton ballroom might have one to lob.

He tells supporters if they see someone getting ready to throw a tomato, they should “knock the hell out of them.”

He says, “I will pay for the legal fees, I promise.”

Trump is working to get out the vote ahead of tonight’s caucuses.

He was introduced at the rally by his most famous backer: Tea Party star Sarah Palin.

Trump is telling Iowans that it’s been a pleasure campaigning in their state and is encouraging people to get out to their caucus sites tonight.

He says, “this is the day we take our country back.”

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12:45 p.m.

John Kasich says his rivals should follow his lead and call on the super PACs supporting them to take down negative advertisements.

Kasich, who is spending Monday campaigning in New Hampshire rather than Iowa, says candidates should spend the next week talking about “what they’re for” rather than knocking each other down.

Kasich’s campaign on Monday told the super PAC backing him not to air a negative television ad against rival Marco Rubio. Campaigns and super PACs are barred from coordinating, but the super PAC chose to replace the negative ad with a positive spot about Kasich.

Kasich, who has largely declined to hit his rivals, has started shaming them for promoting what he says are lies about his record. Many of his GOP opponents use his expansion of Medicaid in Ohio to tie him to President Barack Obama. But Kasich isn’t backing down from his choice, saying it’s saved lives in his home state.

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12:30 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has a chance to sway at least one undecided voter at one of his final campaign stops in Iowa.

Jane Gaines of Churdan, Iowa, came to see Cruz on Monday and she doesn’t know who she will caucus for just hours later at night. Churdan says she came to hear Cruz’s message, but she’s leaning toward supporting retired surgeon Ben Carson.

Churdan says, “I look for real. I look for transparent. I look for a statesman and not a politician.”

Others at Cruz’s event in Jefferson, Iowa, say they plan to caucus for him.

Tracie Perez of Scranton, Iowa, says she has been a Cruz fan since he ran for the Senate in 2012. Perez says she’s “praying hard” for Cruz, but worried rival Donald Trump may win.

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12:20 p.m.

The commander of military operations against the Islamic State group says carpet bombing strikes against Islamic State militants — a tactic proposed by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz — is “inconsistent with our values” as a nation.

Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland spoke by teleconference from Iraq. He said such indiscriminate bombing would kill innocent civilians as well as enemy combatants. MaFarland added that the United States has a guiding set of principles that govern how American forces conduct themselves on the battlefield.

Right now, MacFarland says, “we have the moral high ground and that’s where we’re going to stay.”

He adds that Russia is reported to have conducted carpet bombing in Syria.

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12:14 p.m.

Donald Trump says evangelical Christians “really do get me.”

He’s bragging about his support from the group also pursued by rival Ted Cruz just hours before the leadoff Iowa caucuses.

Trump says at a rally in Waterloo Monday morning that “the evangelicals have been unbelievable to Donald Trump.”

“Boy do they understand me. They understand me better than anybody,” he adds.

The thrice-married Trump may seem an unusual fit for the conservative Christian voters that play a large role in Iowa. But he has won the support of many, including Liberty University founder Jerry Falwell Jr.

Trump said Monday that if he’s president, he’ll “protect Christianity,” which he says is under siege. He also says believing in God “so important” to happiness.

Trump spoke to a smaller-than-usual crowd at the Ramada Waterloo Hotel and Convention Center, where many seats were left unfilled.

Supporters may have been dissuaded by the heavy fog that blanketed local roads all morning.

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12:13 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says that win or lose in Iowa, he’s planning for a long campaign.

Sanders says in a brief availability with reporters on his campaign bus that if Clinton “ends up with two delegates more of many, many hundred delegates, you tell me why that’s the end of the world?”

Sanders adds, “This is a national campaign. We are in this to win at the convention. We’re taking this all of the way.”

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11:50 a.m.

Donald Trump is telling Iowans that rival Ted Cruz “will destroy your ethanol businesses, 100 percent.”

Those are fighting words in the agricultural state that voting on presidential nominees at Monday night’s caucuses.

At a morning rally in foggy Waterloo, Iowa the billionaire real estate developer said Cruz is controlled by his donors, including big oil companies.

He says, “Your ethanol business if Ted Cruz gets in will be wiped out within six months to a year. It’s going to be gone.”

Cruz has advocated phasing out ethanol subsidies over time — a position that is deeply unpopular in the agricultural state.

In contrast, Trump says, “I’ve been consistent, I’ve been solid, and I’m a supporter and I always will be a supporter.”

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11: 45 a.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is imploring his volunteers and supporters to help him claim victory in Iowa’s caucuses.

Sanders says, “We’ve got a tie ballgame – that’s where we are.”

Sanders is predicting that his campaign will win tonight if the voter turnout is high. He says, “We will struggle tonight if the voter turnout is low. That’s a fact.”

He’s rallying his supporters, saying, “Let’s go get ’em!”

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11:30 a.m.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley says he doesn’t know Donald Trump well, though he thinks any of the Republican candidates will “govern in a much more conservative way than (President Barack) Obama.”

At an event hosted by Bloomberg Politics Monday, the longtime Republican senator says Trump is “responding to the frustration of the American people.”

Asked about the Republican frontrunner’s past proposal to impose a massive tax on goods from China, Grassley said such a move would be a mistake, likening it to the increase in tariffs before the Great Depression. But he said he was not convinced such a thing would really happen.

“You eventually reach a common sense solution,” Grassley said.

The Republican presidential contender told The New York Times several weeks ago that he’d “tax China on products coming in” to the U.S. and “the tax should be 45 percent.” But since then he has said he doubts the tariff would be necessary at all.

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10:55 a.m.

Hillary Clinton is stopping by a campaign office in south Des Moines to rally her troops ahead of Monday night’s Iowa caucuses.

Bearing iced coffee and doughnuts, Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, are mingling and snapping selfies with several dozen volunteers.

“I had to stop by and tell you how much I appreciate your hard work,” Clinton is saying. “I thought I’d bring you some unhealthy snacks!”

Nearly 9,000 campaign volunteers for the campaign knocked on 186,000 doors in Iowa over the past three days, according Clinton’s staff.

“I’m so excited tonight. I’m feeling so energized!” Clinton says.

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10:15 a.m.

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst says she can’t answer whether Donald Trump is a true conservative.

At an event hosted by Bloomberg Politics Monday, the freshman Republican said this was a question for the GOP front runner. She said that a few years ago, “I would not have agreed he is a conservative.”

Ernst noted that there was little record to judge Trump on. But she stressed that she would support the eventual Republican nominee.

Ernst has not endorsed a candidate in the crowded Republican field, though she has appeared at events with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

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7:31 a.m.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she has no regrets having endorsed billionaire Donald Trump for president over his rival Ted Cruz, who she endorsed during his run for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Speaking to NBC’s Today on the morning of the Iowa caucuses Monday, Palin said her support “added some momentum” to Cruz’s campaign and as the senator from Texas, he has gone on to fight for the American people.

“I want to keep him in the Senate and I want Donald Trump to be our president,” she said.

Palin also defended comments she made at one of Trump’s rallies when she blamed her son’s behavior on President Barack Obama for not doing more to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Palin insisted that America needs a new president who she says will not “kowtow, allow the enemy to be poking at us.”

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7:09 a.m.

Presidential candidates vying for their party nominations are toning down their attacks against rivals opting instead for messages of reflection on the morning of the country’s leadoff Iowa caucuses.

Speaking to NBC’s Today on Monday, billionaire Donald Trump declined to predict the outcome of the caucuses, noting that fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is “a talented guy.”

On ABC’s Good Morning America, Trump is admitting: “You have to be a little bit nervous,”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also praised the drive of rival Cruz, with whom he’s repeatedly clashed on a range of issues, saying Cruz “has a very strong ground game.”

Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton praised her campaign staff and said that rival Sen. Bernie Sanders has run the campaign he wants to run, noting, simply, “we have differences.”

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