Resolute: Get Set for the Thrills in the Chills. Iowa Caucus is Tonight

By Al Perrotta Published on January 15, 2024

It’s bitter cold in Iowa, but which candidate is going to be hot at tonight’s Iowa caucuses? The American people are finally starting to get their say in the 2024 Election. And we are Resolute.

Ice Capades: Iowa Caucus Tonight!

It is going to be cold, cold, cold in Iowa. Wind chills tonight hitting between -35 and -45 degrees. So cold that even if you built it, Shoeless Joe Jackson won’t come.  But will caucus goers come to the 1,657 community precincts to name their choice in the GOP primary? Will the coldest weather in caucus history impact turnout? Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley blew off the concerns. “The answer is no,” he said. “It will not.”

Is he being optimistic? Will enthusiasm and dedication to a candidate have an impact on who shows up and how the night goes? We’ll start having some idea in about 13 hours. The action starts at 7 p.m. Central.

We did get got an idea of the heartiness of Iowans. Former President Trump had a rally in Indianola, Iowa Sunday. Crowds waiting in line for the rally Sunday morning were dealing with temperatures around -17. 

Looking at the final Iowa caucus poll, supporters have a reason to be optimistic. And so, contrary to headlines, does Ron DeSantis. 

Des Moines Register Poll: Trump Up By 28, With Haley in Second Over DeSantis. But Is It Legit?

The final Des Moines Register/NBCNews/MediaCom Iowa poll was released Saturday night. Former President Donald Trump holds a commanding lead at 48%. Nikki Haley is now ahead of DeSantis 20% to 16%. Vivek Ramaswamy is at 8%.

In fact, Haley was showing swagger Sunday, challenging Trump as if DeSantis was already back in Tallahassee soaking his wounds. “It’s you and me now,” she said in an interview with Fox News Digital.

Is Haley legitimately ahead of the Florida Governor in Iowa with Republican voters? Here’s where it gets muddy. According to the poll, half of those who say they’re backing Haley self-identify as Independents or Democrats. 43% say they’ll vote for Biden, only 23% will back Trump in the general. In fact, Axios has a story about how some Democrats and independents are going to “crash” the caucuses tonight and be “Republicans for a day” in order weaken Trump. Oh, the games people play.

Also, DeSantis is the second choice of 20% of the voters and is being “actively considered” by another 18%. Haley is the second choice of only 14% and is being actively by 13%.

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Further, let’s talk enthusiasm … the kind of thing that brings people out in the cold and stand firm in a room full of opinionated neighbors. MAGA people are all in. Nearly half are “extremely” enthusiastic, another 39% are “very enthusiastic.”  But what about DeSantis supporters vs. Haley supporters? 23% of DeSantis supporters are “extremely” enthusiastic, versus only 9% for Haley. Very enthusiastic? DeSantis at 39%, Haley 30%.  

That makes 61% of Team DeSantis extremely or very enthusiastic. 61% of Haley’s voters are “mildly” or “not that enthusiastic.”

If that translates to votes, reports of Ron DeSantis’ demise will prove greatly exaggerated.

Last Minute Endorsements

Endorsements rolled in Sunday just ahead of the caucus. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. Donald Trump earned a thumbs up from Sen. Marco Rubio, eight years after all the “Little Marco” hubbub. He also gained the endorsement of dropped out candidate North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. Meanwhile, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan threw his support behind former South Carolina Nikki Haley. Sen. Rand Paul did not endorse anybody, but on Friday he announced his staunch opposition to Haley, launching a website NeverNikki.net.

Vivek’s Strange Closing Argument: You’ve Got to Vote for Me to Save Trump from Those Out to Destroy Him.

And you can guess Trump’s reaction.

An exchange Vivek Ramaswamy had with a Trump supporter over the weekend raised eyebrows … and the ire of Trump.

The voter was expressing her fear for Trump and the nation. Vivek’s response, in part:

 They are. They will stop at nothing. But we’re not going to let them get away with it. I’ve got fresh legs. I’m not wounded. They’re not going to let this man do it.

It’s about this country. You want to save Trump; you vote for me. I’m telling you that. You vote for Trump; you’re sending him to his own demise … . You’re falling into the trap that not only a country’s falling in, but he’s falling. You want to save Trump; you vote for me. I need your support for the Iowa caucus.”

Trump lashed out on Truth Social.

It’s the first time Trump has knocked the young entrepreneur, who has been one Trump’s biggest defenders. Vivek had his own response Saturday morning, unpacking his thinking.

Though it seems at this point the only thing anyone should be unpacking is a parka.

Stay safe and warm, caucus goers!

 

Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and co-author of the counter-terrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

 

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