Trump wins Iowa caucuses, AP projects
Why it matters: Trump's campaign set expectations high heading into Iowa — and his victory signals that the lead he held in polls for months before the caucuses is a reality among Republican voters.
The big picture: Scarred from his second-place finish in 2016, Trump descended on the Hawkeye State in the final stretch before the 2024 caucuses to shore up support and try to ensure strong turnout.
- Questions over turnout loomed large before the caucuses, especially as a polar vortex slammed the state, bringing frigid temperatures and blizzard conditions.
- "The biggest risk is you say, you know, 'We're winning by so much, darling, let's stay home and watch television,'" Trump said in a warning to supporters this month.
State of play: With Trump appearing as the favorite in polls for months leading into Iowa, DeSantis and Haley battled for second place.
- The pair duked it out last week during the final debate before the Iowa caucuses, where they clashed with each other before eventually turning against Trump, who skipped the debate and instead sat for a town hall.
Between the lines: Trump, also navigating a mountain of legal troubles while running his campaign, campaigned predominately in Iowa through big rallies in urban centers and leaned into support from surrogates.
- DeSantis criss-crossed the state, claiming to have visited all 99 counties and seeking to tap into evangelical voters in Iowa.
- The New Hampshire primary will also be key in determining whether Trump's strong performance in Iowa was an anomaly or representative of his standing among Republican primary voters.
Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.