DeSantis campaign claims election interference in Iowa Caucus

by | Jan 15, 2024

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign accused the media of election interference in the Iowa caucus, claiming that The Associated Press’ quick decision to call the race for Former President Donald Trump, who won decisively, influenced voter behavior and undermined the democratic process.

In the aftermath of Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign team has accused the media of election interference as Former President Donald Trump secured a decisive victory, leaving DeSantis in a battle for a distant second place.

The DeSantis campaign’s discontent emerged shortly after The Associated Press and other media outlets called the race early in favor of Trump. Andrew Romeo, DeSantis’ communications director, expressed outrage over the decision in a press release on Monday night.

“It is 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,” he said.

Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ rapid response director, echoed the accusations, arguing that the allegedly premature race call influenced caucus-goers and undermined the democratic process.

“When Fox sent out this “breaking news” people in the precinct I was monitoring in Des Moines were still speaking and had not even cast votes. Corporate media election interference,” Pushaw said on X.

As the night progressed, DeSantis’ campaign continued to voice concerns about the media’s role in shaping electoral outcomes. Bryan Griffin, DeSantis’ press secretary, called the race “extremely disrespectful to the voters,” also citing incidents where caucus-goers were still waiting to vote or listening to speeches when the media made their projections.

With 95 percent of the vote counted, Trump secured 51 percent of the caucus votes, according to CBS News. The Associated Press called the race for Trump within 45 minutes based on an analysis of early returns and the results of AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 1,500 voters who planned to participate in the caucuses.

The AP VoteCast survey indicated that Trump led among various demographic groups, including men and women, and in every geographic region of the state.

“Thank you Iowa, I love you all,” said Trump on Truth Social.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis trailed significantly from the opening bell despite campaigning heavily within Iowa, positioning himself for a distant second place in his first major test of the Republican presidential primary season. At the time DeSantis clinched second place, he carried 21.3 percent support, with Former U.N. Ambassador and Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley in a close third with 19.1 percent.

Following the defeat, a senior campaign official told CNN that DeSantis’s campaign would remain ongoing, amidst speculation that he would drop out if a subpar performance transpired.

“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.”

The DeSantis campaign must now focus on the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 23, where Trump is heavily favored to win by a large margin. In the Granite State, Haley comfortably sits in second place, according to most polls, while DeSantis lags in a distant third at just 5 percent, on average.


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