Former President Donald Trump is anticipated to secure a victory in the Iowa caucuses, solidifying his frontrunner status for the 2024 Republican nomination and setting the stage for a potential rematch against incumbent Joe Biden, according to CNN projection.
This win marks Trump's return to electoral politics since his departure in 2020, dispelling any doubts about his influence within the GOP and the effectiveness of his right-wing message.
With approximately 4 percent of the results released, Trump is expected to receive 16 out of Iowa's 40 delegates. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley are estimated to garner four delegates each, leaving 16 delegates yet to be allocated. The GOP nominee must secure at least 1,215 out of the 2,429 delegates awarded.
The attention now shifts to the upcoming New Hampshire primary on January 23, where the pressure intensifies on Trump's GOP rivals, particularly DeSantis and Haley, in the wake of the Iowa outcome.
Haley aims to make an impression in a more ideologically diverse primary electorate, hoping to recover from her Iowa loss. Despite Trump's substantial lead in the Granite State, Haley sees it as a potential fallback.
For DeSantis, the Iowa defeat is a significant setback, considering his substantial investment in the state with hopes of surpassing Trump and signaling a shift in national Republican politics. Strategists suggest that Trump winning both Iowa and New Hampshire could secure his dominance for the rest of the election cycle, making it challenging for any other GOP candidate to catch up.
While Trump faces legal challenges, including criminal indictments and efforts to remove him from the ballot in certain states, he dismisses these as "political attacks" and portrays himself as a victim of a "witch hunt."
Despite these challenges, Trump remains confident, stating at a recent rally in Iowa, "We're going to win the Iowa caucuses and then we're going to crush crooked Joe Biden next November." Trump also emphasized strong poll numbers in New Hampshire and nationwide during a Fox News town hall, expressing optimism about his overall performance in the upcoming elections.