US Republican presidential primaries begin

01/15/2024 10:53 pm (current 01/15/2024 11:00 pm)

Trump is considered the favorite among Republicans ©APA/AFP

The Republican primaries in the state of Iowa on Monday night (local time) mark the beginning of the US election year. Anyone who wants to become a presidential candidate in the United States must first prevail in internal party votes in the various states. Among Republicans, polls in Iowa recently showed former President Donald Trump as the clear favorite.

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley followed closely behind, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis close behind. Party caucuses meet on Monday evening at 7pm local time (Tuesday, 2am CET) to vote in places such as churches, libraries and community halls. Most results are expected the same evening.

Arctic winter weather affected the Iowa election campaign in the final stretch and caused a series of schedule changes for candidates over the weekend. On election day, temperatures were around minus 25 degrees in some places – the National Weather Service advised people to avoid the dangerous cold and, if possible, not to spend time outdoors.

Observers considered the extreme temperatures a risk to Trump. It could not be ruled out that his supporters would assume he would win comfortably anyway and therefore stay at home. This could benefit Haley and DeSantis. On the other hand, Trump supporters are considered particularly loyal.