CV NEWS FEED // As expected, former President Donald Trump has won the Iowa Caucus by a wide margin.
Media outlets called the race for the former president only about a half hour after the caucuses commenced at 7:00 pm CT Monday.
“The call came so quickly that at some caucus locations, attendees had not even finished making speeches of support for the various candidates,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
As of 11:30 pm ET, Trump had 51.0% of the caucus vote, with 95% of the vote reporting. In a hard-fought battle, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis claimed second place with 21.3% over former Ambassador Nikki Haley who was a couple of points behind him at 19.1%.
Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy finished in a distant fourth place with 7.7% of the vote after months of competing closely with DeSantis for second place.
The 38-year-old’s disappointing showing in Iowa cemented his decision to withdraw from the race on caucus night.
“Ramaswamy is suspending his campaign and has informed his team,” CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reported. She added that the candidate wasted no time and quickly threw his support behind Trump.
National Review Editor-In-Chief Rich Lowry remarked on X (formerly Twitter) that the results were “roughly what the polls predicted.”
FiveThirtyEight’s final polling average for Iowa had Trump at 52.7%, Haley at 18.7%, DeSantis at 15.8%, and Ramaswamy at 6.4%. This meant that Trump slightly underperformed the polls, while all of his competitors slightly outperformed them.
Aside from DeSantis, who ran 5.5% ahead of the caucus day polling average, all other candidates finished within two points of the FiveThirtyEight average.
Trump garnered “strong support from White evangelicals” and voters who consider themselves to be “very conservative,” ABC News reported. He lost both of these groups in 2016 when he narrowly lost the caucuses to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX.
Interviews with voters who participated in the caucus showed that Trump essentially ran the table across demographics. “He won men, women, older voters and younger voters, and improving on his 2016 performance with all of these groups,” ABC News added.
Many of Iowa’s Republican voters seemed to have hopes that the former president is the best candidate to fix the crisis at the country’s southern border.
“Entrance polls showed caucusgoers who named immigration as their top issue went for Trump by a three-to-one margin, 61%-20%,” reported National Review’s Philip Klein.
Jewish Insider Editor-In-Chief Josh Kraushaar called Trump’s victory a “romp,” pointing to his victory in suburban areas where he has historically performed poorly.
For example, in suburban Dallas County, Trump won 37% of the vote compared to Haley’s 27% and DeSantis’ 25%, with over 95% of the vote counted.
“[The county] was a Rubio stronghold in 2016,” Kraushaar wrote on X.
“Trump wins Iowa easily,” noted journalist Megyn Kelly on X. “Honestly – what a comeback versus where he was after 2020. It’s truly stunning.”
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, called for all of the former president’s primary rivals to exit the race.
“As I have said for over a year, President Trump will be our Republican nominee and will defeat Joe Biden in November,” she wrote:
I am calling on every other candidate – all of whom have no chance to win – to drop out so we can unify and immediately rally behind President Trump so that we can focus 100% of our resources on defeating Joe Biden to Save America.
Stefanik is the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference and the fourth-highest-ranking Republican in the chamber. In November 2022, she became the first member of Congress to endorse Trump’s 2024 bid for the presidency.
Meanwhile, many in DeSantis’ camp thought the call in the former president’s favor was made too early.
“It is absolutely outrageous that the media would participate in election interference by calling the race before tens of thousands of Iowans even had a chance to vote,” DeSantis Campaign Spokesman Andrew Romeo wrote on X. “The media is in the tank for Trump and this is the most egregious example yet.”
As of 11:30 pm ET, 19 of Iowa’s delegates were allocated to Trump with eight going to DeSantis, seven to Haley, and two to the now-withdrawn Ramaswamy, per The New York Times. Four delegates had yet to be awarded.
Despite being the nation’s first nomination contest, the Iowa caucuses only contain a total of 40 delegates, which is 3% of the 1,215 needed to secure the party’s nomination
New Hampshire, whose January 23 primary is the next scheduled contest, contains only 22 delegates. Meanwhile, 874 delegates are set to be awarded on March 5 – a day dubbed “Super Tuesday,” when primaries in several more populous states are scheduled.
Trump is now seeking to be the first Republican candidate to win the Iowa caucuses in a contested primary race and go on to win the nomination since George W. Bush in 2000.
In the last three times there was an open Republican primary field, the winner of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation contest failed to win the party’s nomination: Ted Cruz in 2016, Rick Santorum in 2012, and Mike Huckabee in 2008.
If Trump continues his momentum to become the 2024 Republican Presidential nominee, it would make him the first person in American history to win the GOP nomination three election cycles in a row.
As CatholicVote previously reported:
Although Richard Nixon did win the Republican presidential nomination three times, he did so in non-consecutive election cycles. The 37th president compiled a 2-1 record in general elections, a mark Trump will seek to match.