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Former US President Donald Trump hails landslide Iowa caucus win as "very special"

A comilation photo of Trump and his rivals in the vote.
A comilation photo of Trump and his rivals in the vote. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with AP
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The former US president won the first-in-the-nation caucuses - but turnout was low and he faces demographic challenges in other parts of America.

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Donald Trump won a landslide victory in the Iowa caucuses on Monday.

The former US president's victory was clear and decisive, with the Associated Press (AP) news agency declaring his win just 30 minutes after voting began. 

Trump's result makes him the clear frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, where he would face off President Joe Biden for control of the White House. 

He hailed his win as a "very special night". He also urged Americans to come together to "straighten out the world".  

Among the promises he made if he won a second term in the White House, Trump repeated the mantra "drill baby drill" - loosely translated as a ramping up of domestic energy production.  Trump also promised to "seal up the border" against an incoming "invasion".

Despite the landslide victory, it appears turnout was close to record lows for the state, as the contest also exposed some national vulnerabilities for the former president.

The suburbs are a relative weakness for Trump: Only about 4 in 10 Iowa Republicans in the suburbs support him. 

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024.
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024.Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Trump still bests his closest rivals in the suburbs, but not as strongly as he does in other areas, according to AP. 

Nor does Trump have as much appeal with college graduates. Just 2 in 10 of Trump’s Iowa backers hold a college degree, compared to roughly half of those who backed rivals Haley and DeSantis.

And there are Trump’s legal troubles. About one-quarter of caucusgoers say Trump has done something illegal when it comes to at least one of the legal cases he is facing. 

These include: his role in the 6 January 2021, riot at the US Capitol, his alleged attempts to interfere in the vote count in the 2020 presidential election or the discovery of classified documents at his Florida home that were supposed to be in government custody.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis came a distant second place in the vote, with former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley trailing in third.

Trump was flanked on stage by members of his family and senior campaign staff, as well as members of Congress and other supporters who traveled to Iowa to campaign by his side.

He began his remarks with a conciliatory tone, saying it was time for the country to come together.

Trump offered a shout-out to DeSantis and Haley, whom he has skewered on the trail.

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“I want to congratulate Ron and Nikki for having a good time together,” he quipped.

DeSantis said he was aggressively attacked ahead of the caucus. “They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us," he said.

Caucuses are a series of votes where US political parties select delegates who will later represent the party's choice for presidential nominee. 

The results contribute to the selection of delegates who will ultimately attend the party's national convention to officially nominate a candidate for the presidency. 

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AP allocated 16 of Iowa’s 40 delegates to Trump and four delegates each to Haley and DeSantis. These two dozen delegates represent 60% of the state’s total. Delegates will cast their votes at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this summer.

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