Haley and DeSantis come out swinging in GOP debate
With temperatures digging deeper than even native Iowans are used to, many campaign events have been called off or gone virtual, and there are some concerns about what the bitter weather will mean for turnout on Monday.
While Donald Trump holds a substantial polling lead, Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley are fighting hard for second place in the hope it will give them the boost they need ahead of the New Hampshire primary.
Earlier this week, Mr Trump’s town hall with Fox News beat the GOP debate between Mr DeSantis and Ms Haley in the ratings.
Iowa campaign events are falling as fast as the snow as the state readies for record-cold caucuses
Campaign events are falling as swiftly as the Iowa snow as wintry weather hampers both Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis as they clamor for support in the days before Monday’s leadoff presidential caucuses.
Prolonged freezing temperatures, combined with strong winds, foreshadow possibly life-threatening conditions on the night that Republican voters are set to gather to make their pick for their 2024 nominee.
Iowans are accustomed to the cold, though the latest winter wave, combined with temperatures that threaten to dip deeper into negative territory in the coming days, could mean unprecedented conditions for caucus night itself. Early into next week, forecasters said significant winds would make things feel as cold as 45 degrees below zero, a record-breaking forecast that could keep potential voters at home.
“This is kind of what it means to live in Iowa, in the middle of winter, but two snowstorms back-to-back feels like a little much,” said Jillian McKee, of Des Moines, as she walked her Shiba Inu named Bear on Friday morning in the pouring snow. “Usually, I’m just used to one a week.”
McKee said she still plans to show up on Monday night and is leaning toward caucusing for Haley.
Iowa caucuses: When will we know the results?
All eyes will be on the race to secure the Republican nomination, with front-runner Donald Trump expected to cement his commanding lead over his rivals in the polls as the likes of Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy seek to make an impact and prove they have the support to mount a meaningful challenge.
For Democrats, the matter is much more straightforward: they will simply gather in gyms, schools, libraries and churches across the state’s 1,657 precincts (spread over 99 counties) to elect delegates to send to the county conventions in March, the next step to selecting the delegates that will attend the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.
Despite sub-zero temperatures and snow being forecast, the state Republican Party chair Jeff Kaufmann has insisted: “We have done everything humanly possible to ensure that this caucus comes off without a hitch.”
So when can we expect to find out the results?
Joe Sommerlad12 January 2024 20:15
ICYMI: DeSantis attacks Trump over BLM riot response
In a section on crime at Wednesday night’s debate, Ron DeSantis attacked Donald Trump over his response to the civil unrest and riots following the murder of George Floyd in 2020.
“He sat in the White House and tweeted ‘law and order,’ but he did nothing to ensure law and order,” DeSantis says of Trump. “As your president, I’ll never let our cities burn.”
Oliver O’Connell12 January 2024 20:00
Iowa: The last stand of Ron DeSantis?
He completed the “Full Grassley,” named for Iowa’s long-serving Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, where he visited all 99 counties in the state. He made the hard sell at Iowa’s State Fair. He received the endorsement of Kim Reynolds, the state’s governor, and Bob Vander Plaats, the head of the Iowa Family Leader and a kingmaker in the state whose support of Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Ted Cruz all played a role in their victories in the caucuses.
But is this going to be his last stand of the 2024 election cycle?
Eric Garcia and Gustaf Kilander report for The Independent:
Florida governor has done ‘everything right’ and his Iowa campaign is a ‘well-oiled machine’. But will it be enough? Eric Garcia and Gustaf Kilander take a look at the DeSantis campaign heading into the first-in-the-nation contest
Oliver O’Connell12 January 2024 19:45
Climate protester tackled at DeSantis Iowa event
Videos from Thursday’s campaign event show the demonstrator standing up in the middle of Mr DeSantis’ speech, holding up a yellow banner that read “DeSantis: Climate Criminal” while yelling, “how much money are you taking from oil companies?”
Footage captured the security guard quickly crossing the stage in front of the Republican nominee and tackling the protester. Mr DeSantis appeared alarmed at first as he watched the scene play out.
Oliver O’Connell12 January 2024 19:30
Iowa GOP voters less interested in talking about abortion, knowing it could lose them elections
A man in Iowa stood up at a recent town hall and told Ron DeSantis he had an “easy” question: how would the Florida governor address abortion when it’s sure to be a big issue in the coming 2024 presidential election?
DeSantis said he’d talk about it “the same way I did in Florida. I just articulated kind of, you know, where we were, what we do.”
Abortion has largely been absent as an issue in the lead-up to this year’s Iowa Republican caucuses, a remarkable change in a state that has long backed religious conservatives vowing to restrict the procedure. Part of the change is because Republicans achieved a generational goal when the Supreme Court overturned a federally guaranteed right to abortion. But it also underscores a pervasive fear among Republican candidates and voters alike that vocalizing their desire to further restrict abortion rights in 2024 has become politically dangerous.
Democrats outperformed expectations in the 2022 midterms and several state races last year campaigning on the issue. And President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign plans to make abortion rights central to its strategy this year.
What do Haley and DeSantis admire about each other?
After a testy two hours on the debate stage at Drake University on Wednesday night, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley were asked what they admire about each other.
When asked what he admires about Haley, DeSantis gave a long answer about South Carolina, her time as governor there, and the people there.
When asked what she admires about DeSantis, Haley kept it short and not so sweet, replying: “I think he has been a good governor.”
Oliver O’Connell12 January 2024 19:00
Trump town hall almost doubles ratings of GOP debate
Wednesday night’s duelling displays proved favourable for Mr Trump, whose Fox News town hall was watched by 4.3 million people, according to Nielsen Media Research.
By contrast, Ms Haley and Mr DeSantis appeared on CNN at the same time but were only viewed by 2.6 million people.
The competing events were broadcast just days before the Iowa caucuses — the first-in-the-nation chance for voters to officially throw their support behind the candidates of their choice.
Oliver O’Connell12 January 2024 18:45
This week’s MVP in the GOP primary race
Griff, the Drake University mascot, who was king of the spin room on debate night.
Oliver O’Connell12 January 2024 18:30
Oliver O’Connell12 January 2024 18:25