Washington DC (US): Former US President Donald Trump secured a resounding victory at the Iowa caucuses, reinforcing his influence over the Republican Party and its supporters. With a staggering lead of around 32,840 votes, Trump claimed 20 out of the 40 delegates, setting the stage for a potential 2024 rematch with incumbent Joe Biden.
Despite skipping GOP primary debates, Trump's devoted Republican base demonstrated unwavering support. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis secured a distant second place with eight delegates, while former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley trailed closely with seven.
In an unexpected turn, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy withdrew from the race after finishing fourth, throwing his support behind Trump. Trump, in a departure from his usual style, congratulated his GOP rivals, signaling a call for unity within the party.
The Iowa caucus results positioned Trump as a front-runner for the Republican nomination, marking a significant step in his bid for a third consecutive election. Exit polls revealed Trump's broad support, particularly among White evangelical Christians, securing 53% compared to DeSantis' 27% and Haley's 13%.
As the race moves to New Hampshire, where Haley aims to gain traction, both she and DeSantis pledged to continue their campaigns. Haley sees herself as the antidote to a potential Biden-Trump rematch, emphasizing a need for a new vision for the country's future.
DeSantis, who survived a competitive campaign in Iowa, faces a challenging stretch in New Hampshire, where polls indicate a significant gap behind Trump and Haley. Despite the hurdles, he remains determined to press forward, planning visits to South Carolina and New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, Trump's legal challenges loom large, including criminal indictments and attempts to remove him from ballots in certain states. Despite these obstacles, recent polling suggests Trump leads Biden in key swing states crucial for the 2024 presidential race.
With the next US presidential election scheduled for November 5, 2024, the unfolding dynamics indicate a competitive and closely watched campaign season ahead.
—Input from Agencies