Gov. DeSantis declared Monday a win for his campaign, claiming: ‘We’ve got our ticket punched out of Iowa.’ He now heads to South Carolina for a campaign stop in Greenville before going onto New Hampshire, where the second primary contest is held on January 23.
As of 10:30 p.m. CST, DeSantis held more than 21 percent of the vote in Iowa after putting everything into bringing out the vote in the first primary contest state. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is in close third with 19 percent.
Donald Trump was projected to win in Iowa less than a half-hour after caucuses started.
But Haley and DeSantis’ supporters are furious that the race was called without tallies from hundreds of precinct locations yet accounted for.
The No. 2 finish for Ron DeSantis hands a much needed momentum boost to the Florida governor heading into New Hampshire as he tries to catch up to Donald Trump’s dominance in the polls
Meanwhile, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said during her speech after the caucuses that it’s clearly a two-person race – despite coming in third in Iowa
‘They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us. They spent almost $50 million attacking us. No one’s faced that much just threw Iowa,’ DeSantis said to a ball room of supporters in West Des Moines on Monday evening.
‘The media was against us – they were writing our obituary months ago. They even called the election before people even got a chance to vote,’ he said to a chorus of boos and jeers. ‘I can tell you because of your support, in spite of all of that that they threw at us – everyone against us – we’ve got our ticket punched out of Iowa.’
A senior campaign official for DeSantis said in a statement on Monday’s results: ‘This is going to be a long battle ahead, but that is what this campaign is built for. The stakes are too high for this nation and we will not back down.’
A fired-up crowd of DeSantis supporters gathered to see the governor’s post-caucus remarks were spitting angry over the early call of Trump’s victory.
With nearly 80 percent of the vote tallied across the state, every single county was shown with the majority of votes for Trump.
‘I want to congratulate Ron and NIkki for having a good time together,’ Trump said during his victory speech Monday night. ‘We’re all having a good time together. And I think they both actually did very well.’
DeSantis stopped at a couple caucus sites in Dubuque, Iowa before heading to West Des Moines for his rally night party. Meanwhile, Haley spoke to caucus goers at Franklin Jr. High before her party in the same town where DeSantis is appearing.
Voters ignored frostbite warnings and wind chills of minus 30 degrees to stream into 1,657 precincts across the state Monday evening to pick who they want on the GOP ticket in the 2024 general election.
Gov. DeSantis speaks to a ball room full of supporters in West Des Moines, Iowa on Monday evening after his second place finish in Iowa
Former President Trump, 77, said he is expecting a ‘tremendous night’ and praised the ‘spirit’ of his supporters who have ventured out in life-threatening conditions.
‘Well, that was fast. Thank you Iowa,’ Donald Trump Jr. posted along with an image of his father not even an hour after caucuses commence.
‘Now let’s end this nonsense and go after the insanity that is today’s Democrat party. Enough is enough! It’s time to put America first for a change.’
The Arctic blast that has ravaged the state has left 150 million Americans under weather warnings, canceled 7,000 flights nationwide and killed at least four people – including a man in Iowa.
But that didn’t stop voters from lining up at precincts across the state in the coldest caucus in decades.
Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley spokes at a caucus site at Franklin Jr. High in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday, January 15 as she urges voters to support her bid for president
A poll published the morening of the Iowa caucuses showed Trump with 57% support with DeSantis and Haley tied for second with 17% each
Voters begin to arrive at a caucus site at Fellows Elementary School to choose their Republican candidate
Can Trump deliver a record-breaking win: The former president eats a pizza he delivered to the Waukee Fire Department on Sunday
People arrive at Franklin Jr. High, Precinct Des Moines 33, for the Iowa Caucus vote in Des Moines, Iowa
Nikki Haley spoke at Franklin Jr. High – and Donald Trump Jr. appeared shortly after to also deliver remarks after a win was projected for his dad
Donald Trump Jr. trolled Haley by visiting the same caucus site as her and vouching for his father.
At the suburban Des Moines caucus site at Franklin Jr. High, Haley was pitching herself. Meanwhile, Don Jr. was in the well of the auditorium telling votes to support his father instead.
He said during his dad’s time in office there was ‘world peace,’ and claimed: ‘Nikki Haley would love to be in every war that the world has to offer.’
Don Jr. said Haley was ‘hiding from the people’ backstage before her caucus speech because she doesn’t want to face questions and praised himself for doing the opposite.
‘We’re here to answer to you. Not go behind a stage,’ Trump Jr. said.
A 71-year-old caucus-goer from Ankeny, Iowa said: ‘With our situation in this country right now, to me, the only candidate is Trump. He won’t back down.’
‘I just feel the only one that can get us out – I’m just sad it’s only going to be for four years – is Trump. Even if people don’t like him because of the way he talks sometimes, you know, he was a good president,’ Vicki Cannon said.
In Fort Dodge, Iowa, Melanie Klaassen, 42, planned to participate in her first caucuses.
She and her husband, Michael, who are farmers, supported Trump in 2016 but went to their first rally in 2020 out of ‘curiosity,’ she said.
They found camaraderie there with people from ‘all walks of life,’ Melanie said.
‘We’ve always voted, but we didn’t care either way how it turned out,’ she said. That’s changed since Trump. ‘It feels like our voices really matter more,’ she said.
In Pella, Iowa Darla De Haan had Nikki Haley at the top of her list.
De Haan, a psychotherapist, said that she had not caucused in years but was looking forward to participating this time.
Ron DeSantis, who is battling for second place, greets supporters at Jerseys Pub and Grub in Cedar Rapids
‘For me, it’s really about character,’ De Haan said. ‘I want to see people who have integrity, who keep their word. I kind of get a sense when you’re around someone, if they’re going to do what they say.’
The Iowa caucuses will produce the first tangible results of the 2024 Republican presidential primary election, and historically the contest can help set the stage for the remainder of the cycle.
Since the Democratic caucus in 1972, the Iowa caucuses have been the first primary contest in the nation.
Sites include spots like elementary and high school gymnasiums, churches, golf clubs, banks, city halls, opera houses, community centers and even some citizens open their homes to host caucuses.
Only those registered as Republican can participate in the caucus, though Iowa citizens at least 18-years-old can register or change their party registration in-person at the caucus site.