— -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told his supporters that he was “honored” with his finish in the Iowa caucuses, despite being expected to finish behind Ted Cruz, based on analysis of the vote.
Trump was projected to finish second behind Cruz, with Marco Rubio in third.
Days ahead of the caucuses, the real estate mogul was leading the Texas senator, 28-23 percent, according to the Des Moines Register-Bloomberg News poll released on Saturday.
In the final days before the caucuses Trump took to the campaign trail to implore voters in the Hawkeye State to caucus for him.
At a packed event in Des Moines, Trump congratulated his opponents. Trump also told the crowd that at the beginning of his campaign, he was warned he wouldn’t even finish in the “top 10,” in Iowa.
“On June 16th when we started this journey, there were 17 candidates. I was told by everybody do not go to Iowa,” he said. “They said don’t give it a shot. I said I have to do it. And we finished second, and I have to tell you something, I am honored, I am just honored.”
Despite his loss Trump thanked the crowd for their support, telling them he “simply [loves] the people of Iowa.”
“I think I might come here and buy a farm,” he added.
Trump was already looking ahead to the next electoral event, announcing that he will be in New Hampshire Tuesday, “proclaiming victory.”