The Iowa results are Cruz – Trump – Rubio, in that order, with Rubio surprisingly strong and (as of this writing) very close to taking second place.

This is a big blow to Trump, and a big win for Cruz. Trump seemed unstoppable, with the most recent polls showing him up by 7 points.

That is the big story of the night. At least in one state, Trumpmentum was stopped for a night. While Trump is far ahead in the polls in New Hampshire and nationally, this could burst the media narrative of inevitability.

For Cruz, it’s vindication. He has come under the sharpest attack in the past two weeks, and has been subjected to the sort of vetting and scrutiny that — while uncomfortable — was better coming now than later.

Cruz Iowa Results 2

For Rubio, this is the moment when he established himself as a viable contender. Now Rubio has to show he can turn caucus support into primary support. There will be pressure on others to drop out, and the first should be Jeb Bush.

Rubio Iowa Results 2

I don’t know where this is going, but the voters of Iowa did good tonight.

It has been really hard the past weeks to try to keep our coverage balanced. I respect the varying views of the readership, but our authors also have their own views. I suspect those views will come into sharper focus in the coming weeks.

In talking about the rise of Trump, and what it might portend, I wrote:

I figure the folks will figure it out at the voting booth. I trust the people on this more than I trust the media.

Iowa confirmed my faith in the folks. I hope they continue to figure it out at the voting booth in the upcoming states.