News Networks Call Iowa for Trump 30 minutes into Caucuses

by Dan McCaleb


Several national news outlets were calling the Iowa Republican caucuses for former President Donald Trump just 30 minutes after they began.

Exit polling and early results had Fox News, CNN, CBS News and ABC News calling the race for Trump with just about 3 percent of results reporting.

Iowa Republican voters gathered at their precincts Monday night to choose their nominee for U.S. president, the first Americans to decide who they want to face likely Democratic nominee President Joe Biden in November.

Temperatures remained below zero as supporters of Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other challengers made their arguments in an attempt to persuade voters to join their respective sides. Caucusing began at 7 p.m. central (local) time.

By 7:30 p.m., the caucuses were being called for Trump. The race for second place, likely Haley or DeSantis, remained tight. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy was a distant fourth.

Unlike a standard primary election where voters simply go to the polls and cast their ballots for the candidate of their choice (or in more recent years, mail in their ballots), voters at a caucus show up in person and listen to supporters lobby for candidates before choosing sides.

Trump was the favorite by far to win this initial stop in the Republican primary season.

RealClearPolitics Poll Average of major polls across the country showed Trump with more than 52 percent support in The Hawkeye State. His closest challenger there in polling was Haley, who garners 18.2 percent support, a nearly 34 percent percentage point gap between the No. 1 and No. 2 candidates in the state. DeSantis was an even more distant third with 15.6 percent support.

New Hampshire has the first primary on Tuesday of next week. Trump also holds a significant lead in polling there with 43.5 percent support, according to RealClear, but Haley has closed the gap down to about 14 percentage points with 29.3 percent support.

Nevada follows with a Feb. 8 caucus, followed by primaries on Feb. 24 in South Carolina and Feb. 27 in Michigan (though not all delegates will be awarded on this date in Michigan; more than half will be awarded at the state convention March 2); and caucuses in Idaho March 2 and North Dakota March 4.

The successful Republican candidate must secure at least 1,215 of 2,429 total delegates to secure the nomination; 40 delegates are up for grabs in Iowa Monday night. Unlike the presidential general election in most states where all Electoral College votes go to the popular vote winner, the delegates in primaries and caucuses are divided between candidates by percentage.

On Super Tuesday, March 5, Republican voters from 15 states will select the candidate of their choice: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.

Trump could have the nomination locked up by then.

In the most recent The Center Square Voters’ Voice poll, Trump has taken a head-to-head lead over Biden as well.

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Dan McCaleb is the Executive Editor at The Center Square. Casey Harper and Associate Editor Kim Jarrett contributed to this report.
Image “Donald Trump” by Donald Trump.




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