Donald Trump has called dozens of people losers: Karl Rove, Mark Cuban, Seth Meyers. After Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, the Republican billionaire was facing the title himself.
With 85 percent of precincts reporting results, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was declared the winner with 28 percent of the vote at about 10 p.m. EST. Trump had roughly 24 percent support and was fighting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for second place.
But the 2016 race is far from over for The Donald. In a year where voters have signaled a growing frustration with Washington and political elites amid stagnant wages and global instability — a trend that saw outsider candidates like Trump and Cruz win more than 50 percent of the Republican vote and Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders break even in Iowa — Trump’s unprecedented campaign could still eventually make it to the White House if he can nab victories in the upcoming New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries and go on to secure the GOP nomination.
Trump kept it optimistic in his concession speech Monday. He congratulated Cruz, thanked his volunteers and revealed he was returning to the campaign trail immediately. “We’re leaving tonight, and tomorrow afternoon we’ll be in New Hampshire, and that’ll be something special,” Trump said. “I think we’re going to be proclaiming the victory. I hope.”
Overall, the 2016 election wasn’t supposed to go like this for the Republican party. After eight years of President Barack Obama, the GOP was ready to retake control of the country. Its slate of candidates was strong. There was Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a relative of two former presidents; Rubio, the young Cuban American TIME once called “the Republican savior;” and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2012.