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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Trump Wins Landslide In Iowa

Donald Trump

Former US President Donald Trump, has won a landslide victory in the Iowa caucuses.

This cement his status as the clear frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

But Florida Governor Ron DeSantis edged out former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to take a distant second place, CBS projected.

Haley had hoped to ride polling momentum to come second, but DeSantis’s relentless campaigning in the state paid off.

Trump hailed his victory in a speech to supporters, saying he wants to “straighten up the problems of the world”.

Iowa is the first of the state-by-state contests where Republican voters pick their White House candidate.

Meanwhile, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out of the race and endorsed Trump after causing a stir in early debates and then failing to gain traction.

Trump won strong support from white evangelicals and very conservative voters, say entrance poll data.

The eventual Republican nominee will challenge the Democrat pick, probably President Joe Biden, in November.

Registered Republicans were braving sub-zero temperatures to gather on Monday evening across Iowa to cast ballots at churches, schools, gyms and community centres.

According to the entrance poll data, Trump won men, women, older voters and younger voters, improving on his 2016 performance with all of these groups.

Most Iowa caucus-goers largely dismissed his ongoing legal woes, saying he would still be fit for the presidency even if he were convicted of a crime.

The issue of immigration helped boost Trump: he overwhelmingly won those who picked this as their top issue.

Trump, the runaway frontrunner nationally in the Republican race, had been the overwhelming favorite to win Iowa.

His dominance in the Midwestern rural state has drawn much of the focus from political analysts to the race for second place.

Iowa is widely seen as make-or-break for Florida Governor DeSantis, who barnstormed all 99 counties, throwing most of his time and resources into this contest as he courted evangelical voters.

A third-place finish in Iowa could spell doom for his campaign.

Ms Haley, aiming to be the first female US president, has enjoyed a boost in support in the wake of headline-making debate performances.

Some anti-Trump Republicans have been coalescing around the former US ambassador to the UN as the only viable alternative to the former president.

As a sense of expectation has grown around Ms Haley, both Trump and DeSantis have turned their fire on the former South Carolina governor.

Trump has consolidated his lead in national opinion polls, despite facing four separate criminal trials.

He also faces a judgment as soon as this month in a civil fraud trial that threatens his New York property empire. On Tuesday he is expected to attend another trial that will work out how much he should pay in defamation damages to E Jean Carroll, a woman he was found liable of sexually abusing.

After Iowa, the Republican primary race barrels next week to the state of New Hampshire, before voters in Nevada and South Carolina have their say in early February.

More than a dozen states vote in a single day in early March on so-called Super Tuesday.

The eventual Republican White House candidate will be confirmed at the party convention in July.

Iowa’s early spot on the campaign calendar presents contenders with a launchpad to build momentum. However, the Hawkeye State is not always a reliable bellwether.

The Republican winner of Iowa’s caucuses has not gone on to win the White House nomination in the last three competitive races: 2008, 2012 and 2016.

The results of the primaries and caucuses help determine how many delegates from each state will be sent to the national party conventions this summer.

To win the nomination, a Republican needs 1,215 delegates — out of more than 2,400 in total.

In Iowa, just 40 delegates are up for grabs. — BBC

Source: BBC/SG.

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