Iowa caucus: "Donald Trump reigns supreme in this primary, which he should win hands down »

Steph Deschamps / January 19, 2024

 

The former U.S. president won the Republican primary in the state of Iowa by a wide margin on Monday, taking over 50% of the vote. For US specialist Jean-Éric Branaa, Donald Trump was able to establish himself as both a challenger and an incumbent.
 
Donald Trump has always presented himself as a challenger and assured us that he would turn the tables, as he did in 2016. Today, we see that he has the score of an incumbent president, i.e. more than 30 points ahead of his competitors. He is therefore both a challenger and an incumbent. This is unheard of in an election campaign. In short, Trump reigns supreme in this primary, which he should win hands down by March.
 
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, in whom conservatives had pinned their hopes, is now well behind the former American president. How can this descent into the abyss be explained?
 
This is by no means a descent into hell. Ron DeSantis is in second place in Iowa, which is quite respectable against Donald Trump. What's more, he scored very well in conservative strongholds. For example, in Story County, in the center of the country, he obtained 26.5% of the vote against Trump's 33.9%, in Lyon County, a very conservative county, he is at 28% while Trump is at 58% and Nikki Haley is only at 7%. In short, Ron DeSantis is doing more than well in these counties. He is winning back the votes of conservatives who are tired of Trump and his affairs. The Florida governor, younger than the ex-president, is establishing himself as a challenger for years to come.
 
Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley came third with around 19% of the vote. But can she achieve a much higher score in New Hampshire next week and ultimately establish herself as a credible presidential candidate?
 
Nikki Haley's positioning over the last few weeks has not been good. She has shot herself in the foot by positioning herself as a direct opponent of Donald Trump and attacking him head-on, notably over his legal setbacks or the invasion of the Capitol, which has displeased Republicans.
 
She has put herself outside the Republican campaign. Now she's being attacked by the most fervent Trumpists, who accuse her of being a Democrat, and I think that label is going to stick to her for a long time.
 
It's possible that she'll manage to get a respectable, and much higher, score in New Hampshire, which is mainly made up of CSP+ graduates. But I don't think she can become, in the long run, a real major rival for the former president, and that she will mainly serve to fuel media electronics, but who ultimately won't be a major rival.
 
When you poll Republican caucus voters, as all the polling organizations do, you find that two-thirds of them are convinced that the election was stolen from Donald Trump in 2020 and that there's a problem with democracy in the United States. What's more, the issue of immigration has been central since the start of the campaign.
 
Some commentators have claimed that "wokism" is a central theme of the election. It's an important issue for many Republican voters, but all have broadly the same opinion: they're opposed to woke ideology, if it can be defined at all. It's not a theme that mobilizes voters today, in a primary. On the other hand, it will be more decisive in September and October, during the face-off with Joe Biden.
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