The real estate mogul made the sensational accusations on Twitter, telling his six million followers that the first-time senator from Texas had committed fraud in the first caucus of the 2016 US presidential election.

"Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!" Trump wrote.

"Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified," Trump wrote.

His tally -- just above 24 percent, for second place after Cruz and just ahead of Senator Marco Rubio - in the first vote after months of wall-to-wall media coverage raises serious questions about whether showmanship has a winning strategy.

A second hiccup, at the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday, would spell political disaster for the billionaire.


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