Former President Donald Trump won the Iowa caucuses, solidifying his place as the front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination as he attempts a historic political comeback nearly three years after leaving the White House in disgrace.
DeSantis came second in the caucuses, ahead of Haley. Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who was in fourth place, ended his campaign Monday night and endorsed Trump.
Trump’s victory in this, his first election since losing to Joe Biden in 2020, put to bed any lingering questions about his hold over the GOP, the potency of his right-wing message and whether his legal troubles would hobble him with primary voters. The decisive nature of the outcome also made for an unusually magnanimous Trump in his remarks to supporters in Des Moines on Monday night, where he congratulated DeSantis and Haley.
“I want to congratulate Ron (DeSantis) and Nikki (Haley) for having a good, a good time together,” the former president said of his top rivals for the GOP nomination. “We’re all having a good time together. I think they both actually did very well.”
As the GOP field continues to narrow and Trump reasserts his dominance with conservatives, DeSantis and Haley are now facing added pressure to prove they have a path to the nomination. Haley has more riding on the next contest on the Republican calendar – New Hampshire, where she is hoping to impress among a more ideologically diverse electorate in next week’s primary.
The Iowa outcome is a deeper cut for DeSantis, who along with aligned outside groups spent heavily in the state hoping to overtake Trump and signal a changing of the guard in national Republican politics. It was not to be.
Read more about the the results of the Iowa caucuses.