Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Analysis | Trump victorious in Iowa, is the race over ;e?

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Following his victory in the Iowa caucuses, former President Donald Trump addressed supporters in the state capitol, Des Moines.

  • Frédéric Arnould (View profile)Frédéric Arnould

Without much surprise, Donald Trump therefore won the Republican caucuses in Iowa. And now what will happen?

Given the victory in all the polls since the start of the nomination race, the ex-president therefore succeeded in mobilizing his activists who went to community assemblies to vote for him. It’s a revenge on 2016, when Iowa preferred Texas senator Ted Cruz at the time. Which did not prevent him from winning the presidential election that year.

All eyes were of course on Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley to see who would finish second in Iowa. Almost neck and neck with DeSantis who took a slight advantage over the former governor of South Carolina, the two did not necessarily succeed in creating a surprise, or even threatening Trump's supremacy in Iowa.

Does this mean that the race is indeed over? Even if Iowa is not really representative of the United States in 2024, because it is very conservative, rural and predominantly white, and its voters rarely select the candidate who goes to the White House , the fact remains that all the polls among Republicans nationally give Donald Trump victorious across the board. Unbeatable? Probably.

This is bound to be a disappointment for the Florida governor who invested most of his campaign funding and efforts on the ground to try to win the Iowa caucuses. He may declare to anyone who will listen that his second place in Iowa allows him to see the future rosy, his expectations should be more realistic.

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In the next primary which will take place on Monday in New Hampshire, he is third in the polls far behind Trump and Nikki Haley. No matter how hard we look, there is no real path for him to get to the inauguration or even to dethrone the former president who was defeated in 2020.

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Republican voters in Iowa voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, consistent with polls.

In Iowa, Nikki Haley has benefited from renewed attention, particularly from moderate Republicans, but she has yet to prove that she can be the alternative to Donald Trump. With fewer resources than DeSantis and in the absence of a powerful electoral machine from the start of the campaign, the result obtained is not too bad, but necessarily insufficient to worry the Republican leader.

They only have themselves to blame, as they chose to beat around the bush, refusing to attack the leader head-on from the start. Terrified of offending the supporters of the MAGA movement that they absolutely need to win the rounds of the primaries and caucuses, they were therefore content to scratch the surface of Trump's weaknesses.

Probably to their great misfortune, since devoted Trump supporters listened to their words and said to themselves: what's the point of voting for pale copies when we already prefer the original ? As a result, these Aquoibonists remained in the Trumpist fold.

In the last days of the campaign, both still tried to damage the image of the ex-president in the hope of electoral gains. The most scathing attack was delivered by DeSantis the day before the Iowa caucus: You can be the most useless Republican in America, but if you kiss Trump's ring, he'll say you are wonderful, but you can be the strongest, most dynamic, most successful Republican and conservative in America (implied, himself), but if you don't embrace the ;ring, he will try to denigrate you. A moment of lucidity, but probably too little, too late.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will try to fight to the end to stay in the nomination race

The battle is therefore likely to be fierce between these two candidates who are fighting for the viability of their own candidacy. Both are silently betting on any impact of the numerous trials that Donald Trump will face this spring. Impacts which have not materialized so far, depending on the filing of accusations against the ex-president.

Trump's two main opponents face a man who is still in the lead everywhere in the states that will hold caucuses and primaries in the coming weeks. Who between the two will lead the way in withdrawing their candidacy, due to lack of financial means or Republican popular support? Probably the one who hopes to remain in the good graces of the ex-president, who definitely has control over this Republican party that he has reshaped in his image and according to his own interests.

  • Frédéric Arnould (View profile)< source srcset="https://images.radio-canada.ca/q_auto,w_160/v1/ici-info/1x1/arnould-frederic.png" media="(min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 1023px)">Frédéric ArnouldFollow

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