As the UK and Europe went to bed last night, many will have been wondering just what was to take place across the pond in Iowa, as the state officially began the US Presidential candidate polls.
In a dramatic night in the Hawkeye State as Texas Senator Ted Cruz topped the polls with 28 per cent of the vote, ahead of Donald Trump with 24 per cent.
Marco Rubio was edged into third with 23 per cent, but following Trump’s second place it’s Rubio who is now the bookies favourite to win the Republican nomination.
Having hovered around 9/4 and 2/1 in the run-up to the Iowa caucus, last night’s results thrust the Florida Senator into favouritism at 4/5.
In contrast Trump’s odds have strayed far and wide, from 4/5 favourite a couple of days ago, to 11/4 second-favourite in Iowa’s wake.
Having been expected to lag far behind in the first state to vote, Rubio’s result will be a huge encouragement for the rest of the campaign in his battle with Trump and Cruz – who despite his Iowa win, remains the outsider at 5/1 to be nominated.
Over in the Democratic corner, Hillary Clinton avoided a huge scare by Bernie Sanders, but eventually hung on and her odds have strengthened slightly from 1/5 to 1/6 odds-on.
Defeat in Iowa could have seen a domino effect for Clinton across a stream of States, but with over 99 per cent of precincts counted, the former First Lady edged Sanders by just 0.4 per cent.
Matthew Shaddick of Ladbrokes said: “This could be the first sign that the Trump bubble is about to burst. The betting is now firmly pointing toward a Clinton-Rubio showdown in November.”
Clinton’s narrow victory has seen the 68-year-old hold her place as favourite at 10/11, but the big story coming out of Iowa is that her most likely rival will now not be Donald Trump.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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