The road to the presidential primary has suddenly become a very twisted, complicated one.
Tonight, Texas senator Ted Cruz won the Iowa Republican caucuses beating the obvious front-runner Donald Trump.
Meanwhile on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton suddenly finds herself in a tie with her rival Bernie Sanders. Clinton has 50 per cent of the votes while Sanders has 50 per cent.
This is a duel between political pragmatism and revolution that the two candidates represent, respectively. (The numbers are based on 94 per cent of precincts voting).
Known for her diplomatic skills, Clinton simply said, "I am excited about getting into the debate with senator Sanders about the best way forward." She also tweeted:
From the bottom of my heart: Thank you, Iowa. -H pic.twitter.com/ptMgfAPFMJ— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 2, 2016
While Sanders gave a huge speech concluding with this thought-provoking statement: "Let me conclude by saying what no candidate for president will tell you. No one president can do it, because the powers that be, Wall Street, corporate America, the large campaign donors are so powerful that no president can do what has to be done alone. And that's why what Iowa has begun tonight is a political revolution." The crowd cheered him on with his cue "Enough is enough".
And former Maryland governor Martin O' Malley has ended his quest for the nomination. He got 0.5 per cent of the votes.
Pundits say Cruz won because he ran a strategic ground operation and he attacked Trump's decision to not participate in the last debate in Des Moines over his feud with Fox News.
Late, undecided voters placed Marco Rubio in third place.
When all the counting was finished at all precincts, Cruz has 28 per cent, Trump had 24 per cent and Rubio had 23 per cent.
An overjoyed Rubio acted like he had won. Flush with victory, he told his supporters: "For months they told us we had no chance…They told me I needed to wait my turn. But tonight…here in Iowa, the people in this great state sent a very clear message. After seven years of Barack Obama, we are not waiting to take our country back."
Trump, I have to add, was surprisingly calm. He did not throw a tantrum. His concession speech was shocking in its brevity and civility.
"I absolutely love the people of Iowa," Trump said. "I'm just honoured. I'm really honoured."
Maybe he got smarter somewhere along the way because way back in November he had screamed, "How stupid are the people of Iowa?" when Ben Carson had had the audacity to briefly pull ahead of him.
And earlier on, sometime in September, Trump had issued a dire warning: "Now if I lose Iowa, I will never speak to you people again, that I will tell you."
And recently, he had said of Iowa, "I think I might come here and buy a farm. I love it."
For diversity watchers, it was an exciting night. The victories were split between a woman and three men who are Jewish, Canadian and Cuban.
Political watchers place a great deal of stock on Iowa. But I find that debatable and it has had a particularly mixed record in recent times.
In 2008 and 2012 primaries, Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum both win and yet neither of them won the nomination. Both are struggling in their presidential bids this year.
But noteworthy to mention is that, eight years ago, "a dark horse candidate" then senator Barack Obama won Iowa which helped him cinch his party's nomination and the presidency eventually.