Date
24 January 2017
There's no love lost between Donald Trump (left) and Ted Cruz, over whom he has a narrow edge in Iowa. Photo: Reuters
There's no love lost between Donald Trump (left) and Ted Cruz, over whom he has a narrow edge in Iowa. Photo: Reuters

Trump campaign for White House faces first test in Iowa

Billionaire property developer and former reality TV star Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House faces its first test at the hands of voters on Monday.

That’s when Iowa kicks off the nationwide process of choosing a new US president.

Polls in the bellwether state show Trump in a tight battle with Ted Cruz to be the Republican nominee, Reuters reported.

On the Democratic side, front runner Hillary Clinton is hoping to fend off a stiff challenge in Iowa from insurgent Bernie Sanders in the first of the state-by-state battles to pick party candidates for the Nov. 8 election to succeed President Barack Obama.

Late opinion polls showed the blunt-spoken Trump, who has never held public office, had a small lead over Cruz, a conservative US senator from Texas.

Clinton, a former US secretary of state, had a slight edge over Sanders, a US senator from Vermont.

But there is a large bloc of undecided voters in both parties in Iowa and no certainty about who will turn up at the caucuses on a wintry evening, given that many supporters of Trump and Sanders are new to the process and disenchanted with traditional politics.

A win for Trump could validate an aggressive campaign that has alarmed the Republican establishment, dwarfed the efforts of many seasoned politicians and has been marked by controversies such as his calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States and for a wall along the Mexican border.

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