Texas Sen. Ted Cruz declared himself the anti-Trump candidate and said he was effectively tied for second in South Carolina.

But aspects of the results were disappointing for the senator. Cruz failed to secure victory in a single county, but argued that he was "effectively tied" for second place as the votes are being counted.

"In Iowa, they said it couldn't be done, and we won. In New Hampshire, they said a conservative, a Bible-believing Christian could not compete, and we defied expectations. And tonight despite millions and millions of dollars of false and nasty attacks. Despite the entirety of the political establishment coming together against us, South Carolina has given us another remarkable result," Cruz said on Saturday night. "If you are a conservative, this is where you belong because only one strong conservative is in a position to win this race. Second, we are the only campaign that has beaten, and can beat, Donald Trump. That's why Donald relentlessly attacks us and ignores all the other candidates."

Donald Trump's victory was punctuated by success among an evangelical audience Cruz needed for a better showing. The primary results spotlight the upcoming delegate battle that will become crucial to Cruz's future success.

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