Donald Trump was a loser in his first-ever election, finishing second to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and just barely ahead of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the Iowa caucuses.
Trump has led polling for the Republican presidential race for months, including a five-point lead in Iowa a day ahead of the caucuses, but his popularity just didn’t translate into votes in the first election of the 2016 primary season.
“When you work so hard, it’s just a little disappointing,” said one tear-streaked volunteer, Laura. “We are going to win, we are going to win.”
Another volunteer, Evelyn, took comfort in Trump’s second-place finish, saying it reflected their efforts in the months before the first votes were cast.
“We worked hard and we know we worked hard, and he was pleased,” she said.
Craig Fredericks, a supporter wearing one of Trump’s trademark “Make America Great Again” caps, said he could accept a second-place finish in Iowa if the real estate tycoon and reality TV star ended up winning the presidential election in November.
The volunteers hugged and thanked one another for their support during the campaign — and after its disappointing conclusion.
“We’re still going to win, though — right?” Laura said, a hopeful note in her voice tinged with desperation. “We’re still going to win — we’re leading everywhere else.”
Watch the video report posted online by Reuters: