What the GOP’s Iowa Caucus Results Mean for Small Business

Date: February 03, 2016

Cruz trumped Trump, with Rubio close behind. Where do they stand on tax reform and Obamacare?

Things didn’t end up quite as expected. Until the results of the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses came back, Donald Trump had been topping public polls.

But Ted Cruz cruised to a victory, drawing 28 percent of the vote. Trump finished second at 24 percent, followed closely by Marco Rubio with 23 percent. Each of the remaining nine Republican candidates drew less than 10 percent. The low results prompted another GOP to drop out of the race: Mike Huckabee.

THE ELECTIONS ARE HEATING UP: Don’t miss a beat with NFIB’s coverage that highlights how these hopefuls could affect your small business in 2016 and beyond.

The Iowa caucuses mark the first electoral event for voters in choosing the next U.S. president. What’s more, this year’s event drew a record-breaking turnout for Republicans with 180,000 caucus-goers, beating the 2012 attendance record by 60,000 people, The Des Moines Register reported.

Candidates still have major primary contests in New Hampshire and South Carolina coming up this month.

Cruz Leads the Pack

In his lengthy victory speech, Cruz called on Republican voters to hold every candidate accountable “to be a consistent conservative.”

“If you want a candidate to repeal Obamacare, then support a candidate who has led the fight to repeal Obamacare,” he said to cheers from supporters, according to The Washington Post.

Cruz, who spoke for 21 hours on the Senate floor in 2013 as an attempt to defund Obamacare, as Politico reported, said the Iowa victory was a testament to the people’s yearning to get back to their core commitments, including free market principles and constitutional liberties.

Besides Obamacare, Cruz has been a vocal critic of other issues that affect small businesses, such as the corporate income tax and regulatory overreach.

Trump Humbled

Meanwhile, Trump, who was the top choice for president by small business owners back in an August poll, humbly accepted defeat in a short speech but vowed to forge strongly ahead.

“[A]fter taking the second place his detractors had hoped for, he came onstage to concede with a kind of barely contained grimace on his face. What followed was one of the most atypical, un-Trump speeches of his entire eight-month old campaign,” wrote Janell Ross for the Post.

“We will go on to easily beat Bernie or Hillary or whoever the hell we throw up there,” Trump said in his speech.

In September, the real estate mogul unveiled a plan to simplify the tax code, which includes slashing the corporate tax to 15 percent and reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to four.

Rubio a Contender

Pundits and pollsters expected Rubio to come in third. But they didn’t expect him to come within 1 percentage point of Trump.

“He over-performed expectations, and for that, Rubio perhaps almost as much as Cruz can call Monday a win,” wrote Amber Phillips for the Post.

Rubio said his campaign defied naysayers who told him that he had no chance in Iowa.

In his speech, he said the outcome shows that the country is “not waiting any longer to take our country back.”

Back in November, Rubio kicked off NFIB’s presidential candidate TeleForum series and expressed his desire to repeal Obamacare, correct the current business tax structures and boost the number of people in skilled trades.

Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB.

RELATED: Ted Cruz’s Plan to Help Small Business

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