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Trump scores easy win in Iowa with DeSantis a distant second

Bloomberg • 3 min read
Trump scores easy win in Iowa with DeSantis a distant second
Trump was aiming for a resounding victory in the caucuses to further his pivot to a potential general election rematch with President Joe Biden. / Photo: Bloomberg
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Donald Trump cruised to victory in the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses, with Ron DeSantis finishing a distant second in a contest that established the former president as the party’s clear frontrunner. 

News organizations including the Associated Press, CNN and CBS News called the contest for Trump sooner than expected, about 30 minutes after caucuses opened at 7 pm Central time. It was called before some caucus sites even had a chance to begin voting. 

The Associated Press said it was able to call the race quickly based on survey data from voters who planned to caucus and an analysis of early returns, both of which showed Trump with an insurmountable lead over his rivals.

DeSantis beat polling forecasts that showed him losing his long-held status as the projected runner-up in the first-in-the-nation caucus. The AP called his second place finish after 10 pm local time. 

Trump was aiming for a resounding victory in the caucuses to further his pivot to a potential general election rematch with President Joe Biden. Trump had a 51% share of caucusgoers’ votes as of 10:34 pm Central time in a contest that was gripped by sub-zero temperatures that weighed on voter turnout. 

See also: Trump wins Republican nomination, setting up rematch with Biden

“It really is an honor that, minutes after, they’ve announced I’ve won—against very credibly competition—great competition, actually,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Digital. “I am greatly honored by such an early call.”

Allies and adversaries around the world are closely watching the 2024 US presidential contest where Trump and Biden are offering starkly different visions for America’s global role.

A December Morning Consult/Bloomberg News poll showed Trump leading Biden in the seven swing states that will likely decide the outcome of the election.  

See also: Trump defeats Haley in New Hampshire in march toward nomination

Investors and industries are bracing for shifts in economic and tax policy following the election as well as the US security posture toward Russia and China. Trump’s first term was marked by a tit-for-tat trade war with China and his renegotiating of trade agreements with US neighbours Mexico and Canada.

Looking ahead to a second term, Trump’s so far floated the idea of encircling US industry with a 10% tariff, potentially disrupting supply chains. He plans to make permanent the 2017 individual tax cuts that he enacted as president while keeping corporate tax levels unchanged. He’s also vowed a more stringent border policy that would include mass deportations.  

Trump’s super political action committee, the main outside group backing his campaign, seized on the early race call to demand his rivals drop their challenges. 

DeSantis retains momentum heading into the next primary in New Hampshire on Jan 23 and sends a signal to donors who still want an alternative to the former president at the top of the ticket. For Haley, who has bet heavily on using the caucuses as a launchpad to New Hampshire where she has polled better and later to her homestate of South Carolina, the second-place finish was a disappointment. 

DeSantis’s campaign denounced the early call as election interference. 

The Florida governor’s campaign strategy is to outlast the other contenders in order to turn the primary into a two-person race between he and Trump. The Florida governor was once considered the heir apparent to Trump and the former presidents chief rival for the nomination. 


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