Trump wins Iowa caucuses in crucial victory at the outset of GOP presidential campaign

Republican presidential candidateDonald Trump arrives to pick up pizza at a Casey's in Waukee, Iowa, January 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Republican presidential candidateDonald Trump arrives to pick up pizza at a Casey's in Waukee, Iowa, January 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Donald Trump wins the Iowa caucuses Monday, a crucial victory at the outset of the Republican primary that reinforces the former US president’s bond with his party’s voters even as he faces extraordinary legal challenges that could complicate his bid to return to the White House.

The magnitude of Trump’s success is still coming into focus, but the former president’s supporters endured a historic and life-threatening cold snap to participate in caucus meetings that unfolded in schools, churches and community centers across the state.

The results are just the first in what will be a monthslong effort for Trump to secure the GOP nomination a third consecutive time. But they send an unmistakable message to the Republican Party that the nomination is Trump’s to lose and crystalize the challenge facing his GOP opponents.

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are Trump’s most prominent primary rivals. They are aiming for a second-place finish in Iowa that would give them at least some momentum heading into future races. Both are already pivoting their focus, with Haley poised to compete vigorously in New Hampshire, where she hopes to be more successful with the state’s independent voters heading into the January 23 primary. DeSantis, meanwhile, is heading straight to South Carolina, a conservative stronghold where the February 24 contest could prove pivotal, before then going to New Hampshire.

Iowa is an uneven predictor of who will ultimately lead Republicans into the general election. George W. Bush’s 2000 victory was the last time a Republican candidate won in Iowa and went on to become the party’s standard-bearer.

Most Popular