Donald Trump won the first phase of the Republican primary in Iowa in a landslide, less than half an hour after the caucuses opened, with just over 50% of the vote and a record margin of about 30 points, more than double that of Popeye. Dole registered in 1988. The businessman penetrated all social spheres, starting with evangelicals, with the only weakness in suburban areas. It is an astonishing result when we consider that in 2016 he came in second place here and that since then he has sown chaos, suffered two impeachments and is awaiting four criminal trials, two of which for trying to subvert the result of the vote.
However, during the night, it was a long showdown between his main rivals for second place, which was won by Ron DeSantis against Nikki Haley, contrary to expectations. But the gap is so low (21.2% versus 19%, with 94% of the votes counted) that it doesn't make a substantive difference, leaving the race open as to which of the two will be able to try to present themselves as a potential candidate. An alternative to Donald: At the next stop on January 23 in more liberal New Hampshire, the former ambassador to the United Nations was in a better position. On the other hand, Indian-origin technology entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (4th with 7.7%) withdrew, giving his endorsement to former President Trump, increasing his vote count.
“I am honored and encouraged by this victory,” the businessman first commented on the Fox network, before his official speech. It began on a conciliatory tone in hopes of uniting the country in a bipartisan way, with congratulations to DeSantis Haley and praise from her family, including her recently deceased mother-in-law. But he immediately turned to attacking Joe Biden, “the worst president in the history of the United States” and the director of his trials (“election interference”). Or in the threatening promise to “close the border with Mexico against invading criminals and terrorists,” and implement “a deportation system not seen in this country since the days of Eisenhower.” Biden acknowledged that Trump “is the front-runner for the Republican nomination” after Iowa, and his campaign warned that if he wins, there will be “despicable attacks, endless lies, and massive spending.”
Half an hour was enough for major US networks to portray the businessman as the winner of the coldest caucuses in history, amid snow-covered streets and temperatures below 30 degrees. It is a move that DeSantis' campaign objected to as “egregious election interference” because it was able to influence thousands of people who had not yet voted. “They thought we were done but let's move on,” the Florida leader commented after his second-place finish. Haley congratulated Trump but warned: “If he is the nominee, Joe Biden can win again.”
But the victory strengthens Trump's undisputed role as the front-runner, after he was able to rally his base again and restore the party by turning all the accusations into a “witch hunt”, into a “judicial persecution” orchestrated by the “rapist.” Joe Biden. The businessman receives half of the forty delegates who will compete for him, that is, only 2% of the total. But he has started well and has consolidated his hold on the Grand Old Party even in Congress, where he has majority support. House Speaker Mike Johnson commented, “It is a decisive and historic victory and one that should bring the Republican Party together so we can achieve a final victory in November.”
Today, all the candidates travel to New Hampshire: Trump heads first to court in Manhattan, where a second lawsuit awaits him for defaming the writer Jane Carroll, after she was accused of faking a sexual assault on his part.
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