Ted Cruz shocks Trump, scores upset win in Iowa

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Ted Cruz Celebrates Iowa Win on Caucus Night

In something of a stunner, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) came out on top of real-estate mogul Donald Trump in the Monday-night Iowa caucuses, multiple networks projected.

With 99% of Iowa precincts reporting, both NBC and ABC called the race for Cruz shortly before 10:30 p.m. ET. He was leading with 28% of the vote, compared with 24% for Trump and 23% for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida).

Other outlets soon followed with their projections.

Cruz gave a victory speech at his campaign's Iowa headquarters shortly after 10:15 p.m. CT.

"God bless the great state of Iowa," he boomed into the microphone to start his speech.

See the candidates in Iowa as Cruz and Clinton celebrate victories:

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Iowa Caucus candidates speaking, Clinton and Cruz celebrate
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Ted Cruz shocks Trump, scores upset win in Iowa
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, left, embraces her husband Bill Clinton, former U.S. President, center, as their daughter Chelsea Clinton looks on during a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas won the Iowa Republican caucuses in an upset over billionaire Donald Trump, while Clinton was clinging to the narrowest edge over Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomerg
Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, right, blows a kiss as he walks off stage with his family during a caucus watch party in West Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. Republicans looking for a candidate who could stop Trump found one on Monday evening, as U.S. Senator Ted Cruz emerged from a brutal campaign with a victory in the first-in-the-nation caucuses. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DES MOINES, IA - FEBRUARY 01: Supporters cheer during Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) caucus night party February 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were locked in a tight race with caucus goers late in the evening. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas and 2016 presidential candidate, greets supporters after being declared the winner of the Iowa caucus during his campaign's caucus night celebration at the Elwell Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. Cruz won the Iowa Republican caucuses in an upset over billionaire Donald Trump, while Democrat Hillary Clinton was clinging to the narrowest edge over Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas won the Iowa Republican caucuses in an upset over billionaire Donald Trump, while Clinton was clinging to the narrowest edge over Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomerg
DES MOINES, IA - FEBRUARY 1 : Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders stands on stage with his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders during his Caucus night event at the at the Holiday Inn February 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders was in a virtual tie with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton late in caucus polling. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses his supporters after finishing second in the Iowa Caucus, in West Des Moines, Iowa, February 1, 2016. Republican Senator Ted Cruz has won the Iowa caucuses -- the first vote in the US presidential race -- in a tight contest with frontrunner Donald Trump and Senator Marco Rubio, US media projections showed. / AFP / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - FEBRUARY 01: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets supporters during her caucus night event in the Olmsted Center at Drake University on February 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton is competing with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Iowa Democratic caucus. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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"Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and the next president of the United States will not be chosen by the media," he continued. "Will not be chosen by the Washington establishment. Will not be chosen by the lobbyists. But will be chosen by the most powerful, incredible force ... by we, the people. The American people."

Iowa's Republican Party chair told reporters that more than 180,000 Iowa Republicans turned out to vote, shattering the 2012 record of about 120,000. Cruz set a record for the most Iowa caucus votes received by a single candidate.

Most polls had given Trump the edge heading into the caucuses. The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll, conducted by veteran pollster J. Ann Selzer, gave Trump a 5-point lead last weekend.

A humble Trump was gracious to Cruz and the people of Iowa in a concession speech.

"I think I might come here and buy a farm," he said toward the end of his speech.

Despite condemnation from high-profile state officials like Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), Cruz managed to eke out a victory on the back of one of the strongest campaign infrastructures in the Hawkeye State.

Nine facts you should know about Ted Cruz:​

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9 Facts you should know about Ted Cruz
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Ted Cruz shocks Trump, scores upset win in Iowa

1) His legal name is Rafael Edward Cruz.

(Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

3) He won his Senate seat in 2010 without ever having been elected to public office before. Prior to that he had been appointed to the office of the Solicitor General in Texas.  ​

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

4) He had a minor brush with the law in 1987 when he received a ticket for underage possession of alcohol as a senior in high school. ​

(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

5) He has two Ivy League degrees: an undergraduate degree from Princeton, and a law degree from Harvard.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

8) His father (left) fled Cuba for the United States, worked in the oil industry and eventually became a pastor. He has made headlines for somewhat inflammatory statements, including telling an audience that President Obama should be sent "back to Kenya."

(Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

9) He doesn't believe in climate change, an issue many Democrats have lampooned him for, in part because he leads the Senate's Space, Science, and Competitiveness Committee which oversees NASA.​ During a recent appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" Cruz said "Debates on this should follow science and should follow data. Many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up."

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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The senator stopped in all of the state's 99 counties. He reportedly had more than 5,000 volunteers, many of whom contacted Iowa voters at a rate far higher than any of his competitors.

Early returns provided Cruz with a relatively comfortable lead for most of the night. Cruz had previously surged to a lead over Trump in the first-caucus state, but appeared to dip behind when he and Trump began viciously attacking each other on the campaign trail.

Cruz faces a tougher road in New Hampshire, which holds the nation's first primaries on February 9. Trump has held a dominating lead in most public polls of the Granite State.

But for at least one night, Cruz proclaimed his big victory was a "testament" to the themes of his campaign.

"Tonight, Iowa has proclaimed to the world that morning is coming," he said. "Morning is coming."

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