- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — In his trademark blunt style, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump beseeched supporters Tuesday to help him beat Sen. Ted Cruz in this state’s leadoff caucuses in less than three weeks.

“Come on Iowa! Will you get with it?” he told the capacity crowd in the gym at University of Northern Iowa, pointing to his double-digit lead in other early-voting states.

He rattled off recent polls, including a Quinnipiac University poll of that showed him barely edging out the Texan, 31 percent to 29 percent.

“A little too close for comfort,” said Mr. Trump. “I want to win in Iowa. I don’t want to come in second.”

Mr. Trump said that he refused to play the political game of lowering expectations ahead of nominating contests such as the Iowa caucuses, which politicians do in order to claim victory when finishing second, third or even fourth.

“If we win in Iowa, I think we are going to run the table,” he said of the race for the Republican nomination.

A Real Clear Politics average of recent polls found Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz tied in Iowa at 27 percent. Their next closest rival, Sen. Marco Rubio, trailed at 13 percent.

Mr. Cruz has built substantial support in Iowa among evangelical and conservative voters to challenge Mr. Trump, who has long dominated the race.

Mr. Trump has been chiseling away at Mr. Cruz’s support, raising questions about his eligibility for president because he was born in Canada and his opposition to ethanol subsidies, which is a hot-button issue in a state where corn is king.

“By at the way, Ted is totally against ethanol. Remember that and I’m for ethanol,” said Mr. Trump. “I met with the ethanol representatives from the industry and toured the plants. I think it’s fantastic.”

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