Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
DeSantis was able to hold on to second place Monday while Ramaswamy bows out.
Former President Donald Trump prevailed in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, winning 51% of the Republican votes and earning him 20 delegates towards the party’s nomination.
The AP and other national media outlets were quick to call the race for Trump, drawing the ire of Iowa Republican leaders. Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said their actions were “highly disappointing and concerning.”
“Media outlets calling the results of the 2024 first-in-the-nation caucus less than half an hour after precinct caucuses had been called to order — before the overwhelming majority of Iowans had even cast their ballot — was highly disappointing and concerning,” Kaufmann said in a statement. “One of the key differences between the Iowa Caucus and a standard primary election is that Iowans have the chance to listen to presidential candidates or their surrogates and deliberate to make an informed decision. There was no need to rush one of the most transparent, grassroots democratic processes in the country.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign went so far as to call the media’s actions “election interference.”
Yet, the results showed Trump with widespread support among the party’s faithful.
It was a far better showing for Trump than it was 8 years ago when he lost Iowa to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. In 2016, Trump drew just 24% but that did not stop the eventual GOP nominee who went on to win the White House.
In fact, Iowa voters have not chosen the eventual Republican nominee in the past three contested presidential election cycles. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee won Iowa in 2008 while former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum won in 2012 and Cruz in 2016. None of those Iowa winners went on to be the GOP nominee.
Coming in a distant second was Governor DeSantis who won over 21% of the votes Monday and gained 8 delegates. DeSantis finishing second to Trump was critical to the future of his campaign as showing electoral viability is a must at this juncture.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who is also the former Governor of South Carolina, finished third, winning over 19% and earning 7 delegates. Polling had showed Haley potentially leaping DeSantis for second place but that was not to be when the votes were tallied.
As for businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, the Iowa results marked the end to his campaign. Ramaswamy won 8% of the vote on Monday. He announced late in the evening that he would be suspending his presidential campaign and endorsing Trump for the nomination, despite the two camp’s trading jabs over the last week.
The next round of voting for Republicans will be in New Hampshire on Tuesday, January 23rd.
In 2016, Trump won New Hampshire by double-digits with over 35% of the vote. He is currently polling near 50% in the state with Haley running second.
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