Iowa Caucus: Ted Cruz Wins Republican Caucuses, According to AP – New York Times

Voters sat in the bleachers Monday night at a caucus site in Pella.

Voters sat in the bleachers Monday night at a caucus site in Pella.Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

PELLA, Iowa — Beginning at 5:30 p.m., as people arrived and checked in at tables in the school cafeteria in Pella, it was quickly apparent many were first-time caucusgoers, and it was going to be a big night. There was no clear preference among the first-timers.

Mr. Cruz seemed to have an early edge in this socially conservative community, which in 2012 went for Rick Santorum.

Joel Merrill, 61, a forklift mechanic who had never caucused before, said, “There are a number of candidates I like, and one in particular I don’t like — Trump. I’m going to go with Cruz.”

Mike Rottier, a hardware store owner, said he had been leaning toward Senator Ted Cruz but disliked his opposition to federal support of ethanol.

“I saw something on Facebook about Rubio’s background, how he came up poor. That sounds good,” he said.

Steve Latta, who works for a farm machinery manufacturer, supported Mr. Trump. “He’s going to at least try to stick up for America,” he said.

But John Ferrer, 36, who writes for an education website, said he planned to vote “for the non-Trump candidate,” without saying who. “A vote for Trump is a vote for Babylon,” he said.

Jay Schelhaas, a community college professor, said he liked Senator Marco Rubio’s and Mr. Cruz’s performance in the last, Trump-less debate in Des Moines. “I’m still up in the air between the two,” he said. “Listening to their representatives tonight might make the difference.”

At 6:15, Mr. Spotten, the site chairman, said the influx was only beginning.

“In about 20 minutes, this place is going to get stupid,’’ Mr. Spotten said.


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