Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Rock Hill, South Carolina January 8, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Rock Hill, South Carolina January 8, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane

Reuters

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, locked in a tight race with Texas Senator Ted Cruz in Iowa, on Saturday stressed the importance of winning the state that holds the first U.S. nominating contest of the 2016 election season.

“We gotta win Iowa,” Trump told a rally in Ottumwa, Iowa. “We gotta win it. Okay so we’re going to win it, okay? Otherwise we’re wasting our time, folks.”

After leading polls of Iowa Republican voters for months, Trump has fallen into second place behind Cruz in the state, which will hold its contest on Feb. 1, followed by New Hampshire on Feb. 9.

An Iowa victory for the New York billionaire would be a validation of his insurgent candidacy against a host of establishment Republicans and put him in a strong position for the upcoming contest.

A loss in Iowa, however, would make him vulnerable in New Hampshire, where he leads in the polls, and could jeopardize his candidacy, which is all about stressing the importance of victories.

“We either win or we lose, there’s nothing else. There’s no like, ‘he did a great job,'” he said.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

Previous articleWATCH: Establishment Battle – GOP Candidates Fight It Out in Early States
Next articleDavid Bowie, Dead at 69 – Looking Back
We, like millions of Americans across this country, believe in the founding principles and Judeo-Christian moral foundation upon which this country was built. With those principles and values under increasing attack by the liberal, progressive agenda, we are compelled to join the fight to return our country back to its founding – back to we the people. Our mission is to ensure that the voices of Americans dedicated to this cause are heard and the greatest governing document in human history is once again adhered to.