Updated Jan 16, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump's Iowa win affirms his grip on GOP, DeSantis takes second

Data: AP; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: AP; Chart: Axios Visuals

Former President Trump cemented his undeniable lead in the Republican presidential race with Monday's massive Iowa caucuses win, AP projects.

The big picture: After Trump's early projected victory, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis secured second place and a much-needed boost for his campaign after heavy campaigning in the state.

  • AP projected Trump's victory just 30 minutes after caucusing began in Iowa.
  • Meanwhile, Vivek Ramaswamy announced Monday night that he was suspending his 2024 presidential campaign, just hours after Trump won.
  • President Biden put out a call for donations after recognizing Trump as the definitive GOP frontrunner.
  • "Here's the thing: this election was always going to be you and me vs. extreme MAGA Republicans. It was true yesterday and it'll be true tomorrow," Biden said.

Editor's note: This live blog has been updated with developments.

Haley thanks supporters after third-place finish

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at her caucus night event on January 15, 2024 in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Haley speaks at her caucus night event on January 15, 2024 in West Des Moines, Iowa. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Haley, after finishing third in Iowa, pointed to promising polling in other early states New Hampshire and South Carolina, where she was previously governor, Axios' Sophia Cai reports.

  • "Tonight, Iowa made this Republican primary a two-person race," Haley said.

She noted she voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. But Haley affirmed she thinks she's best positioned to defeat President Biden.

  • "Our campaign is the last best hope of stopping the Trump/Biden nightmare," she said.

DeSantis bashes media, doesn't mention Trump win

DeSantis speaks to supporters in West Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

DeSantis after securing second-place in the Iowa caucuses did not acknowledge Trump's landslide win, Axios Des Moines' Linh Ta reports.

  • He instead blamed the "'media" for calling the race before all ballots were counted, which got a resounding "boo" from his supporters.
  • However, he claimed a victory out of Iowa saying he got one of the "tickets" out of Iowa and plans to continue his momentum moving forward.

"They threw everything and the kitchen sink at us," DeSantis told the crowd. "The media was against us."

Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), one of his biggest endorsers, said the Iowa caucuses went successfully and congratulated his performance.

Reynolds speaks at DeSantis' event. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios
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