- After Trump’s landslide win in Iowa Monday, the GOP presidential field has consolidated and candidates are moving into the next phase of the primaries.
- Exit polling from Iowa revealed that Trump performed the best with voters over the age of 65, while DeSantis was most popular with young voters under 30 and Haley outperformed everyone with Iowans who identified as “moderate/liberal,” according to The Washington Post.
- “The Iowa results confirm a compelling consensus that Trump will be the nominee and there is nothing anyone can do about it absent an act of God or the courts,” Kirk Jowers, who has worked on five Republican presidential campaigns and is an advisor to DeSantis donors, told Reuters.
Former President Donald Trump’s win in the Iowa caucuses on Monday dwindled the GOP field, leaving just three candidates to plot their way forward as a slew of major primaries and caucuses still remain.
Trump met expectations by winning over 50% of the vote in Iowa, with Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis coming in second with 21.2% and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley rounding out the top three at 19.1%. With the campaigns now turning to New Hampshire, Haley and DeSantis face tough choices moving forward in the Republican primary, while Trump continues to gain momentum after Vivek Ramaswamy’s endorsement on Monday.
Trump’s victory speech in Iowa emphasized the importance of “coming together.”
He praised rivals.
He spent time thanking others instrumental to his victory.
Took aim at Biden’s historic lows.
Very strong speech, clearly posturing toward a general election.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) January 16, 2024
The turnout in Iowa was low at around 115,000 compared to the record-high 186,000 in 2016, according to the Post, partially due to the historically cold temperatures that remained well below zero Monday night. For DeSantis, despite coming in second, the results did not match the level of effort his campaign expended on the race after visiting all 99 counties and receiving the endorsement from Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, according to NPR.
DeSantis did, however, have a good night with young voters, beating all the other candidates by winning 30% of voters between 17 to 29 in Iowa, according to the Post. The Florida governor also received a bump in the last month of the Iowa race, with 29% of voters deciding to commit to him as opposed to only 25% for Trump.
Though DeSantis has vowed to stay in the race, he is currently polling behind Haley and Trump at an average of less than 7% in New Hampshire, according to RealClearPolitics. Kirk Jowers, who has worked on five Republican presidential campaigns and is advising several DeSantis donors, said that there is little chance of anyone beating Trump after Iowa, according to Reuters.
DeSantis is placing his bets on South Carolina, and flew to Haley’s home state immediately after the caucuses for an event in Greenville, according to WYFF4, a local media outlet.
Haley, who came in third, congratulated Iowans on making it “a two-person race” between her and Trump during her speech to voters Monday. Exit polls showed the former governor of South Carolina was most popular among those who identified as “moderate/liberal,” according to the Post.
Haley also went after Trump in a post on X Tuesday, saying that Trump “has nowhere left to hide.”
We’ve had five great debates in this campaign. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has ducked all of them. He has nowhere left to hide. The next debate I do will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden. I look forward to it.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) January 16, 2024
New Hampshire Republican strategist Matthew Bartlett told NBC News that going after Trump directly may not spell success for Haley going forward. “Like it or not, Republican voters do not want to hear how bad Donald Trump is. They’ve heard it for eight years from Democrats and the media,” Bartlett said. “There’s nothing you can tell a Trump voter that would surprise them.”
The Trump, DeSantis, and Haley campaigns did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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