If you have tuned in to the 2016 Presidential primaries for the first time today, the reaction to the Iowa caucuses may seem bewildering.
Ted Cruz, a man hated by the Republican establishment and a senator for only three years, has beaten Jeb Bush, who has spent nearly $100 million winning a few thousand votes.
Donald Trump, a pantomime act six months ago, beat everyone but Cruz, including Republican golden boy Marco Rubio.
Half a dozen well-established names, from Bush to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, as well as Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, the two previous winners of the Iowa caucuses, have all been soundly beaten.
Instead, Cruz, Trump and Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, have won more than 60 per cent of the Iowa vote between them.
But tonight Trump isn't a winner nor Rubio a loser. Expectations are everything, and Trump was expected to win, while Rubio was predicted to be a distant third.
As the graphic above shows, which tracks how all the candidates fared in the polls leading up to Iowa, Trump was expected to win around 29 per cent of the vote tonight.
Rubio was only expected to win 17 per cent.
In fact, Trump has only won 24 per cent, with Rubio winning 23 per cent.
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
A week ago Trump led Rubio by more than 20 points in the polls. Surveys picked up a late surge for Rubio, but he did even better on election night than these late polls had implied.
Ted Cruz is tonight's most obvious winner, and he's shown he can turn out his vote, with Republican turnout way up on 2012. More than 180,000 voted in the Republican caucuses, a 50 per cent increase since 2012.
Cruz and Rubio now move to New Hampshire, where Trump has a huge lead in the polls, but that may rapidly slip.
It could be as soft as his Iowa lead proved to be tonight.Reuse content