As the 2024 presidential election closer, the Republican Iowa Caucus took place on Monday, Jan. 15, and was followed by the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Due to freezing Midwest temperatures, voter turnout was much lower this January than in previous years’ contests. Despite the circumstances, support for Donald Trump remained strong among Republicans, paving a clear path to victory for the former president.
Trump scored a 30-point lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, his main two competitors at the time of the caucus. Trump won just over half of all ballots cast, giving him control over 20 of Iowa’s 40 delegates, while DeSantis took nine and Haley took eight. Trump scored the greatest Republican showing in Iowa Caucus history.
Although he had a 2% lead over Haley in Iowa, DeSantis officially withdrew from the presidential race on Sunday, Jan. 21. As he suspended his campaign, DeSantis threw his support behind Trump as his favored candidate to lead the Republican Party against President Biden this fall.
Now that Haley is the sole competitor against Trump, she hoped to gather the support of New Hampshire’s moderate and independent voters, as well as forming a clique of anti-Trump Republicans.
While her hopes were high for New Hampshire, Haley ultimately received 10% fewer votes than Trump. Although the former president was able to win 12 of the state’s 21 delegates, Haley was not far behind now that DeSantis has been knocked out of second place, winning nine delegates.
Although Iowa and New Hampshire were disappointments for Haley’s presidential campaign, she looks forward to competing in her home state of South Carolina on Feb. 24. While Haley and her campaign team feel confident, winning South Carolina will be an uphill battle.
In South Carolina, Trump has received the support of most of the state’s leading Republicans, including the governor, lieutenant governor and both U.S. senators. These leaders urged Republican voters to throw their support behind the former president, creating another great trial for Haley’s campaign.
Before facing off in South Carolina, Trump is taking a trip to Nevada where he plans to win over the state’s Republican voters. Nevada will be holding both a GOP-run caucus and a primary election, the former determining who will win the state’s 26 Republican delegates. Because Haley is running for Nevada’s primary election and not the Republican caucus, all 26 delegates will be awarded to Trump.
Questions have been raised whether the former president should still be the front-runner despite the multitude of felony charges he faces. Several states are considering the removal of Trump from the ballot, a topic that is already on its way to the Supreme Court. While Trump’s legal battles are likely far from over, some of Trump’s most staunch supporters believe that the legal actions taken against the former president are nothing more than attempts to weaken his campaign.
While the 2024 presidential election is still months away and many circumstances could change, given Donald Trump’s current and expected electoral success, it is likely that the 2024 election will echo 2020 and pit the former and current presidents against one another.