2016 Iowa Republican presidential caucuses

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2016 Iowa Republican presidential caucuses
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30 pledged delegates to the Republican National Convention
  Ted Cruz February 2015.jpg Mr Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall on August 19th 2015 at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH by Michael Vadon 07 (cropped).jpg
Candidate Ted Cruz Donald Trump
Home state Texas New York
Delegate count 8 7
Popular vote 51,666 45,429
Percentage 27.6% 24.3%

  Marco Rubio by Gage Skidmore 9 (cropped).jpg Ben Carson (25628355165) (cropped).jpg
Candidate Marco Rubio Ben Carson
Home state Florida Florida
Delegate count 7 3
Popular vote 43,228 17,394
Percentage 23.1% 9.3%

Iowa Republican Presidential Caucuses Election Results by County, 2016.svg
Iowa results by county.
  Ted Cruz
  Donald Trump
  Marco Rubio

The 2016 Iowa Republican presidential caucuses took place on February 1 in the U.S. state of Iowa, traditionally marking the Republican Party's first nominating contest in their series of presidential primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The Democratic Party held its own Iowa caucuses on the same day.

Ted Cruz was able to defeat Donald Trump in the Iowa Caucus by winning over evangelical and libertarian caucus-goers;[1] Cruz won 51,666 caucus votes or 27.6%, giving him a net gain of one delegate over Trump. Mike Huckabee, the 2008 Iowa Caucus winner, dropped out following a poor performance in the caucus.

While Cruz had the endorsement of Congressman Steve King of the 4th Congressional District in rural northwest Iowa,[2] and was able to consolidate devout Evangelical support in the Sioux City area, he was snubbed by Terry Branstad, the popular Republican Governor at the time. Trump tried to make a run among the majority-Catholic mill towns of Mississippi River valley, but Cruz's religious support was stronger than most polls anticipated.[3]


According to the Republican Party of Iowa's bylaws, if more than one candidate is nominated at the Republican National Convention, all of Iowa's delegates are bound to vote "proportionally in accordance with the outcome of the Iowa Caucuses" on the first ballot, even if the candidate has withdrawn from the race.[4] The ballot is a blank piece of paper, and the candidates that voters may vote for in the non-binding preference poll included the following:

Forums and debates[edit]

November 20, 2015 – Des Moines, Iowa The Presidential Family Forum was held in the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum attended the forum hosted by evangelical Christian advocacy group The Family Leader. It was hosted by politician and political activist Bob Vander Plaats and moderated by political consultant and pollster Frank Luntz.[5] Protesters interrupted the beginning of the event and were removed by police.[6]

January 28, 2016 – Des Moines, Iowa The seventh debate was the second debate to air on Fox News. As in Fox's first debate, the moderators were Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace.[7] This was the last debate before actual voting began with the Iowa caucuses on February 1, 2016.[8][9] Due to personality conflicts with Fox News, Donald Trump opted out of the debate.[10]


Iowa Republican precinct caucuses, February 1, 2016
Candidate Votes Percentage Actual delegate count
Bound Unbound Total
Ted Cruz 51,666 27.64% 8 0 8
Donald Trump 45,427 24.3% 7 0 7
Marco Rubio 43,165 23.12% 7 0 7
Ben Carson 17,395 9.3% 3 0 3
Rand Paul 8,481 4.54% 1 0 1
Jeb Bush 5,238 2.8% 1 0 1
Carly Fiorina 3,485 1.86% 1 0 1
John Kasich 3,474 1.86% 1 0 1
Mike Huckabee 3,345 1.79% 1 0 1
Chris Christie 3,284 1.76% 0 0 0
Rick Santorum 1,783 0.95% 0 0 0
Other 117 0.06% 0 0 0
Jim Gilmore 12 0.01% 0 0 0
Unprojected delegates: 0 0 0
Total: 186,932 100.00% 30 0 30
Source: "Iowa". cnn.com. Retrieved 23 November 2016.

Following poor performances in the caucuses, Rand Paul,[11] Mike Huckabee[12] and Rick Santorum[13] suspended their campaigns.

Results of the Iowa Republican caucus, 2016
  Tied between Cruz and Trump


Ben Carson accused Ted Cruz's campaign of winning the caucuses using dishonest tactics, such as falsely telling caucus-goers that Carson had dropped out in order to get them to switch their votes to Cruz.[14] Donald Trump also accused Cruz of "stealing" the Iowa caucuses through fraud.[15]


  1. ^ Glueck, Katie (February 3, 2020). "How Cruz beat Trump". Politico. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  2. ^ "Iowa senator throws support behind Cruz". MSNBC. February 1, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "Cruz, Trump go to war ahead of Iowa". MSNBC. January 18, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Article VIII, Republican Party of Iowa bylaws, amended June 27, 2015.
  5. ^ "Presidential candidates display faith, fire". Des Moines Register. November 21, 2015. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  6. ^ "Republican Candidates Talk Religion, Security at Iowa Forum". CBS News. November 21, 2015. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Battaglio, Stephen (August 13, 2015). "Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly will be at GOP debate in January". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  8. ^ Brownstein, Ronald (December 14, 2015). "These States Could Pick the GOP Nominee, Each for Different Reasons". National Journal. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  9. ^ "Fox News to host last GOP debate before Iowa caucuses". Fox News. December 21, 2015.
  10. ^ Koelig, Kilani; Rafferty, Andrew (January 29, 2016). "Trump Says Skipping Debate 'Turned Out Great'". NBC News.
  11. ^ Goldmacher, Shane; Isenstadt, Alex; Strauss, Daniel (February 3, 2016). "Rand Paul drops out of White House race". Politico. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  12. ^ Bradner, Eric; Preston, Mark (February 1, 2016). "Mike Huckabee drops out of 2016 presidential race". CNN. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  13. ^ King, John; Kopan, Tal; Diamond, Jeremy (February 3, 2016). "Rick Santorum drops presidential bid, endorses Marco Rubio". CNN. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  14. ^ McCaskill, Nolan D. (February 2, 2016). "Carson calls for Cruz camp dismissals after cheating allegations". Politico.
  15. ^ Tennery, Amy (February 3, 2016). "Trump accuses Cruz of stealing Iowa caucuses through 'fraud'". Reuters.

External links[edit]