In religious Iowa, the bishop of Des Moines excused him from attending Mass that Sunday because of expected polar temperatures. For this Monday, caucus day, the thermometer shows a maximum temperature of 20 degrees below zero and a minimum temperature of 29 degrees below zero. Emergency services have declared a wind chill alert. The ground is covered with snow and ice everywhere. The storm and its freezing temperatures will punish participation in the coldest caucuses in history. The start of the Republican Party's primary race will measure the level of devotion to Donald Trump, the favorite, and decide the bitter battle for second place between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the former ambassador to the United Nations. from South Carolina, Nikki Haley.
The latest poll released this weekend, considered the most reliable, the Iowa Poll, conducted by local media The Des Moines Register, NBC News and Mediacom, shows Trump has the support of 48% of Republicans who are ready , to take part in the election meetings this Monday. The main news is that Nikki Haley is already clearly in second place with 20% of the vote, compared to 16% for Ron DeSantis. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy would retain 8%. The poll's fine print shows that Trump dominates across all demographic segments, while Nikki Haley stands out among more educated and higher-income urban voters.
Such an outcome would be catastrophic for DeSantis. This Saturday, at one of his campaign rallies, a citizen approached him and asked him to present him with a prize for his attempt: “Governor, I want to give you this trophy for your participation. He probably won’t win this election,” he laughed in his face before being led away by members of the security team. Iowa is a religious state with a higher proportion of evangelical Christians, among whom its conservative positions may resonate more. He campaigned tirelessly there and traveled to the 99 counties. If he can only achieve third place at most, his election campaign will be fatally damaged. “You will be much stronger on Monday night than in any other election you will ever be able to participate in,” DeSantis told about 60 voters on Saturday at his first event of the day in Council Bluffs on the western edge of Iowa, according to the AP.
One of the unknowns is who will benefit most from the likely low voter turnout. Before the storm and the arctic cold, attendance at the election meetings was expected to be over 200,000 people. Now the cold is enforcing its law. The snow makes getting around particularly difficult in rural areas, and that could benefit Haley somewhat with more city support. But the Des Moines Register poll suggests voters are the least motivated and enthusiastic. DeSantis has few but is convinced, and Trump has many and is determined: “They're probably having the worst time in history, but maybe that's a good thing, because our people are more committed than anyone else,” the former president said this weekend in a video.
While his rivals continued to take to the streets, Trump canceled his in-person rallies on Saturday and held them via teleconference. “It’s terrible out there,” he said as he arrived at one of the events. However, on Sunday he held the final final campaign rally in person. And he used it to attack Nikki Haley, who he already seems to see as his main competition. “She is not fit to be president. “I know her very well,” Trump said in Indianola, Iowa, pointing out that her way of thinking was not appropriate and not “tough” enough.
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For her part, Haley campaigned in Iowa City on Saturday and criticized the former president: “Chaos ensues. You know I'm right. “We cannot defeat the chaos of the Democrats with the chaos of the Republicans.” And this Sunday she insisted on this idea of change in Ames, also in Iowa. “Eleven months have passed, and everything boils down to tomorrow,” Haley said of Monday’s caucuses, presenting herself as “the leader of a new generation that is leaving negativity behind it” and background and focusing on the solutions of the future. “
The Iowa caucuses are political gatherings that will take place this Monday starting at 7:00 p.m. local time (2:00 a.m. on Tuesday in mainland Spain) in civic centers, schools, sports centers and even private homes in around 1,500 different locations throughout The state has 3.2 million inhabitants. In these places, Republican voters will express their preferences for candidates. Sometimes there are speeches and debates, although not necessarily. In the case of the Republicans, there is no grouping or elimination of candidates who do not achieve a certain share of the vote. These were the characteristics of the Democratic caucuses in Iowa through 2020. Although participants here tend to be more participatory and are often happy to speak out and defend their ideas, the vote is secret and the differences from traditional primaries are smaller.
Democrats dumped the Iowa caucuses after a botched 2020 count that was delayed for days and never entirely reliable. President Joe Biden pushed for early votes to be cast in more diverse states that better represent his party and the country. Iowa Democrats accepted that their vote would be by mail and that it would not be completed and released until March. Officially, this party's primary process begins on February 3 in South Carolina and then moves to Nevada. However, the New Hampshire Democratic Party is seeking a Jan. 23 primary, which party officials say will be invalid.
Trump seeks 50%
Trump has high expectations for Iowa on the day before the state's caucuses, even as he criticizes those who try to do the same. “Someone won by 12 points, and it was like a record,” he said Sunday, referring to Republican Bob Dole's margin of victory in 1988, AP reports.
“We should do that. If we don't do it, they should criticize us, right?” Trump said this to volunteers in Des Moines on Sunday morning. “But let's see if we get to 50%.” Shortly before, Trump had complained about the expectation that he would win the majority of caucus votes on Monday evening.
“It seems like it’s about 50%,” he said. “Now it doesn’t matter from a numbers perspective. I think they do it so they can set a high expectation so that when we end up at 49%, which would be about 25 points higher than anyone else has ever achieved, they can say, “You had a failure, you were a failure.”
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