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Updated January 16th, 2024 at 18:03 IST

US Elections: Ron DeSantis Secures Second Place in Iowa Caucuses

The stakes were notably high for DeSantis as he invested significant time and resources crisscrossing all 99 counties of Iowa.

Sagar Kar
US
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. | Image:AP
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has clinched the second spot in Monday's Iowa caucuses. According to a report from Axios, despite a fierce challenge from former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, DeSantis managed to maintain his position, marking a crucial moment in the early stages of the Republican primary race.

DeSantis, who campaigned extensively in Iowa, surpassed expectations by fending off Haley's late surge in momentum. Former President Trump, meanwhile, emerged victorious with a decisive win just 30 minutes after the caucuses commenced.

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For DeSantis, the stakes were high

The stakes were notably high for DeSantis as he invested significant time and resources crisscrossing all 99 counties of Iowa. The Florida governor secured the endorsement of popular Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and garnered support from influential evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats.

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However, DeSantis faced a formidable challenge in winning over evangelical and conservative voters, a battle that unfolded on the campaign trail against Trump. The endorsement from Reynolds and Vander Plaats provided a boost, but the competition remained fierce.

The final days leading up to the caucuses were marred by extreme weather conditions in Iowa, posing questions about voter turnout. Campaigns grappled with cancellations as heavy snowfall and bitter cold gripped the state.

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Despite DeSantis campaigning more aggressively in Iowa than Haley, she managed to secure financial and grassroots support from GOP donors who viewed her as the strongest alternative to Trump.

What now?

DeSantis faces a challenging path in New Hampshire, where Haley seems to have a firm grip on the second-place position, aiming to close in on Trump's lead.

Throughout the campaign, DeSantis and Haley engaged in a war of words, exchanging swipes on the trail and critiquing each other's records. The tension escalated during the final Republican primary debate before the caucuses.

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The Iowa caucuses, largely a battle for second place given Trump's commanding lead in polls, set the stage for a closely watched contest in New Hampshire. DeSantis now navigates a tough road forward as he seeks to maintain momentum in the face of Haley's solid positioning and Trump's dominance.

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Published January 16th, 2024 at 18:03 IST

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