Resolute: Iowa Goes ‘Huge’ for Trump
The voting was quick, the counting was quick, and the announcement of a winner was even quicker, to the chagrin of many. The results are in, it’s a Trump win, and we are Resolute.
Former President Trump Scores an Historic Win
Donald Trump scored a huge win in the Iowa caucuses Monday night. We’re not just saying it because we like to impersonate Trump when saying “huge.” Okay, that’s why we said it. But Trump’s victory was indeed historic in that he won the caucus by the largest percentage for a Republican in Iowa. The previous record had been 12.8% by Bob Dole in 1992. Trump won by 30%, and he may well have won every single one of Iowa’s 99 counties by the time all the countin’s done. A win, yeah. That was expected. But running the table?
The night was such a blowout that the Associated Press called the caucus for Trump by 8:31 Eastern, which itself became an issue, as we’ll see below.
Trump told Fox News Digital that he felt “invigorated” and “honored” by the win. “It really is an honor that, minutes after, they’ve announced I’ve won — against very credible competition — great competition, actually.” In his victory speech, Trump tipped his hat to that competition, saying “Vivek did a h*** of a job,” and complimented both “Ron” and “Nikki” on how well they did, adding a particularly Trumpian aside, “We are all having a good time together.”
In his speech, Trump would call on not just the Republican party, but the American people to unify.
Oddly, the question the talking heads had all night was whether Trump would get 50% of the vote … as if not reaching 50% would mean a loss for Trump. As of midnight Eastern and 96% of the votes tabulated, Trump had 51%. A blowout by any standard.
DeSantis had pushed hard for the so-called evangelical vote, earning the coveted endorsement of influential Bob Vandeer Plaat, but in the end a majority stuck with the former president. According to CNN entrance polling, Trump scored big with Born-Again or Evangelical Christians: 55% for Trump with 24% for DeSantis.
Gov. DeSantis Takes Second Place Over Nikki Haley
So much for Ron DeSantis being finished. Late polling suggested Nikki Haley had pulled ahead of the Florida governor. A third-place finish spelled doom. Haley herself over the weekend was declaring it a two-person race. However, Iowa caucus-goers said “Nay Nay Nikki.” DeSantis and his ground game overcame Haley’s late surge to land in second place. As of midnight, DeSantis had 21.2% of the vote to Haley’s 19.1%. And consider that a chunk of Haley’s support came from Democrats and Independents registering as Republicans for the day in an effort to slow Trump.
Despite losing by around 30% to Trump in a state he had originally hoped to win, DeSantis is staying in the race.
A senior campaign official declared:
They threw everything at Ron DeSantis. They couldn’t kill him. He is not only still standing, but he’s now earned his ticket out of Iowa. This is going to be a long battle ahead, but that is what this campaign is built for. The stakes are too high for this nation and we will not back down.
As for Nikki Haley, in her speech tonight, she congratulated her old boss and again declared it was a “two-person” race.
Nikki Haley: "Tonight, Iowa made this Republican primary a two person race!"pic.twitter.com/vybpPtemW3
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) January 16, 2024
Haley’s expected to do well in the more liberal New Hampshire and then her home state of South Carolina. But beyond that?
Then again, perhaps she’s right. In a sense it’s always been a two-person race: Donald Trump the Leader versus Donald Trump the Tweeter.
The New Hampshire primary is January 23.
Vivek Ramaswamy Drops Out of the Race
After finishing in fourth place, entrepreneur Vivek Ramawamy dropped out of the race and immediately announced his endorsement of Donald Trump. He’ll reportedly be with Trump in New Hampshire.
Controversy Erupts as Fox News, AP, CNN, Others Calls Caucus While Caucusing Was Still Going On
Fox News, Associated Press, CNN and others called Trump’s victory so quickly that the former President’s campaign headquarters was still virtually empty. CNN called it at 8:30 Eastern, with the others quickly following. Good news for those who like going to sleep early, but an outrage to rival campaigns. A vast percentage of the precincts had not even taken their votes yet when the news flashed across their screens.
Ron DeSantis’s communications director Andrew Romeo immediately took to X, declaring:
Absolutely outrageous that the media would participate in election interference by calling the race before tens of thousands of Iowans even had a chance to vote. The media is in the tank for Trump and this is the most egregious example yet.
The media in the tank for Trump? That’s news. Even if true, it’d be like the Cowboys complaining about the refereeing in their playoff game.
Others in the DeSantis camp called it “election interference.” Should anyone be calling elections before the voting is complete? No. Should you be complaining when you’ve taken a licking? Probably not.
A Final Hats Off to Iowa
Trump may have scored a commanding victory, but the true winners tonight have to be the people of Iowa. It’s 30 degrees with flurries and I’m groaning about having to take the dog out. These people left their homes, took on wind chills around 25 degrees below zero to reach their precincts to participate in the caucus. They also put up with a year of endless ads and knocks on the door, the candidates and their surrogates in their face at every turn.
Congratulations to Iowans for stepping up and doing their duty, with diligence and grit. May those of us in the remaining 50 states follow your hearty and inspiring example.
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.