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The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

To kill a mocking-book
To kill a mocking-book
February 21, 2024

Iowa 2024 comes to a close: Here are the takeaways

David+Redenbaugh+counting+the+votes+at+the+Dallas+County+caucus.+Siena+25+contributing+photographer.
David Redenbaugh counting the votes at the Dallas County caucus. Siena ’25 contributing photographer.

The 2024 Iowa Caucus concluded on Monday with Donald Trump securing a triumphant victory, winning over 50% of the vote. Ron DeSantis followed in second place with 21%, and Nikki Haley trailed in third place by 2%. Despite making fewer appearances than other candidates in Iowa leading up to the caucus, Trump garnered the majority of votes and emerged as the front-runner for the Republican Party’s nomination. Many of his supporters attended the caucus to cast their ballots and eventually celebrate Trump’s success. After attending his victory speech, Floridian Trump supporter Bessie Pappas expressed her enthusiasm. 

“We’re very fortunate,” Pappas said. “Yes, we got another chance for our country. This is huge, very huge.”

Eric Trump advocating for Donald Trump at the Dallas County Caucus. Siena ’25 contributing photographer.

Support for Trump came in numerous forms at events on Monday before the results were concluded. Rally attendees feared the dangerous power of the “deep state,” a conspiratorial term referencing influential members of the government believed to be involved in the secret manipulation of Americans. Supporters claimed that voting for Trump was “God’s path,” believing that he can save America from corruption. Others mentioned that Trump was the ideal candidate because of his ability to defeat the democratic opposition.

“[Trump] is the one that can stand up to all the democratic demagogues and people that tried to put him down and keep him caged up,” local Iowan Don Newton said. “If they are working that hard to get rid of him, he must have something worthwhile to look at.” 

DeSantis came in second, defying The Des Moines Register’s polls that predicted Haley would be the runner-up. According to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign researcher and advisor David Simas, some attribute this sudden success over Haley to his popularity amongst evangelical Christians (a major voting demographic in Iowa), his campaign’s strong organizational efforts and his favor among caucusgoers who decided their vote late. However, DeSantis’ future in New Hampshire and South Carolina looks grim, with polls suggesting a two-person race between Haley and Trump.

“While second place is better than third, he’s about to go into two states that are not favorable, and I think he’s going to run out of money fairly quickly,” Simas said. 

Despite Haley finishing third in the polls, she won big in certain districts. At the Dallas County caucus, she was victorious in all three precincts. Some Haley supporters have shown enthusiasm for her experience as a United Nations Ambassador and Governor of South Carolina and appreciated her more moderate conservative values. One independent, Holly Burns, claimed she supported Haley because she feared a potential 2020 rematch. Burns re-registered as a Republican to vote for Haley in Monday’s caucus. 

“I think [Trump] is a poor role model for our country,” Burns said. “And I don’t want to be forced to be voting between Biden and Trump.” 

Caucusgoers voting at the Dallas County Caucus. Stella ’25 staff photographer.

By the end of the night, Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out of the race due to a lack of support with a 13% gap between him and Haley. His decision to drop out of the race will result in a distribution of his supporters among the remaining candidates, particularly Trump, whom Ramaswamy endorsed the same night. At the Dallas County caucus on Monday night, a Ramaswamy supporter mentioned that his second choice was Trump and that this perspective is shared among other supporters.

“There is nothing at this point that can sway me from Trump as my second,” Precinct Chair and caucus captain at the Dallas County caucus David Redenbaugh said. “I like Trump because he clearly loves America, and I am not confident that the other politicians do.”

After delivering speeches that reflected on their performance in the polls, candidates departed to continue their campaign trails. DeSantis moved to rally supporters in South Carolina and Haley flew to solidify her improved polling in New Hampshire, while Trump flew to New York to appear in court before continuing his campaign. For these three candidates, Iowa is just the beginning.

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About the Contributors
Dalton '24, Co-Managing Editor and Head of Politics
Channing '25, Politics Editor
Stella '25, Co-News Editor
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