Former President Donald Trump cruised to victory in the Iowa caucus, as Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley battle for a distance second place finish.
Former President Donald Trump dominated the Iowa caucuses on Monday night, clinching a majority-share victory within a half-hour of the start time and reaffirming his influence over the Republican Party as he eyes a potential rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden.
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.
Members of DeSantis’ campaign expressed frustration with the media’s early projection of Trump’s victory, alleging “election interference.” Andrew Romeo, DeSantis’ communications director, criticized the media for “influencing” the voting process by “prematurely calling” the race in favor of Trump.
“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,” he said. “The media is in the tank for Trump and this is the most egregious example yet.
The Iowa caucuses faced challenges this year, including a lower-than-expected voter turnout, attributed partly to life-threatening cold temperatures.
Next up is 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.
This is a developing story.