Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) surprised the pollsters with a solid win in Iowa last week. Cruz put together a coalition of conservatives around his anti-Washington/anti-establishment message to edge out Donald Trump.
Cruz’s victory was in large part due to his strong support from evangelical voters that made up nearly 50% of the Republican caucus voters. As the contest moves to New Hampshire, evangelical voters represent less than 20% of the primary voters. Approximately 50% of the Iowa Republicans identified that they wanted an outsider. This is a reflection of the public’s dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in Washington, D.C.
Trump is now under new pressure to win this week’s New Hampshire primary where he is currently favored. Key for Trump is can he win New Hampshire, but can he also meet expectations. With his strong third-place finish, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is getting a great deal of attention and increased support. Rubio voters cited electability as one of their key reasons for voting for him.
Hillary Clinton survived by beating Sen. Bernie Sanders by approximately 0.2%. She received a large percentage of voters who identified experience and electability as key reasons. Sanders carried nearly 84% of the young voters.
Now the contest moves on to New Hampshire which according to the polls is more favorable territory for Trump and Sanders. New Hampshire is known to select different candidates than Iowa. Following New Hampshire is Nevada and South Carolina. It could be a long nominating season for both parties unless someone breaks out as the clear favorite in February.