January 16, 2024

Iowa Caucuses

Donald Trump secured a resounding victory in the first 2024 Republican presidential contest in Iowa on Monday, asserting his command over the party… Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 45, finished well behind in second place, edging out former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, 51, as they battle to emerge as the chief alternative to Trump. Trump, 77, won by an unprecedented margin for an Iowa Republican contest.” Reuters

“Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy suspended his 2024 presidential campaign on Monday and endorsed former President Trump.” Axios

Both sides agree that the results confirm Trump as the prohibitive favorite to win the nomination and that DeSantis’s campaign is in trouble:

“The extent to which DeSantis staked his entire campaign on Iowa cannot be overstated. DeSantis sacrificed his early second-place standings in New Hampshire and South Carolina to barnstorm Iowa, visiting all 99 counties and scoring the crucial endorsements of the state’s governor, Kim Reynolds, and its historic kingmaker, evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats. DeSantis’s fundraising behemoth spent some $31 million on ad buys, nearly three times what Trump spent…

“All this proves that the months of painful polling have actually been proven right. There are no hidden masses waiting to stick it to Trump, and if they did once exist, DeSantis failed to win them… There’s no way to spin the fact that Trump won, and everyone else has lost, decisively.”

Tiana Lowe Doescher, Washington Examiner

“Haley’s disappointing third-place finish, after showing a small surge in late polling in Iowa, is not likely to provide the boost that she was hoping to see as the race heads to New Hampshire, where she ostensibly has a greater chance of gaining ground with its more moderate, independent-minded electorate…

“For DeSantis — once considered to have the potential to be a formidable challenger to Trump — the Iowa result was likely a mortal blow, even though he came in slightly ahead of Haley. He has been an unappealing candidate with a dysfunctional campaign, and it is hard at this point to see how and where he can regroup.”

Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

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