West Des Moines, Iowa
All of the televisions in the Sheraton ballroom at Donald Trump’s caucus watch party were turned to CNN when the news arrived a little after 9:00 p.m. local time. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Trump was going to lose the Iowa caucuses to Ted Cruz by 4 percentage points and finish just 1 point ahead of Marco Rubio. One Trump supporter simply raised his hands to shield his eyes from the TV. The crowd remained mostly quiet.
As a trickle of Trump supporters began to leave the ballroom, there were a few misty eyes but no histrionics. Many simply didn’t want to talk about Trump’s loss. But those who did seemed to take the defeat in stride. I actually thought Trump would probably win. I didn’t expect Cruz to get as big a lead as he has. I was a little disappointed, said Anne Wolf of Des Moines. When Marco Rubio began to speak on TV, there were loud cheers and applause for Trump’s rival as he attacked Hillary Clinton and said she was disqualified from being commander in chief.