Predictions: Former President Trump clearly wins the US Republican primary in Iowa

Former US President Donald Trump has confirmed his favorite status for his party’s presidential nomination with a clear victory in the first Republican presidential primary. With 51 percent of the vote, Trump left his challengers far behind, as US media reported just half an hour after voting began in the state of Iowa on Monday evening (local time). Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came in second with 21 percent.

This gave Trump an unprecedented lead of 30 percentage points over the second-place candidate in Iowa. It is now time “for our country to come together,” said the 77-year-old right-wing populist after his victory in front of supporters in Des Moines, the capital of Iowa. He then announced that he would “close” the border with Mexico and produce more oil after winning the presidential election in November.

Trump has been leading the pre-election polls among Republicans for over a year – despite his many judicial problems with four indictments. The primary election in Iowa was considered an important test of sentiment – even though less than one percent of the US population lives in the state. A poor performance could have hurt Trump later in the primaries.

The Democratic incumbent Joe Biden commented on the outcome of the first Republican presidential primary on the online service

In Iowa, the main question was who could establish themselves within the party as Trump’s most promising challenger in the primaries. DeSantis’ second-place finish pushed him past his closest rival, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who received 19 percent of the vote.

The result is seen as a major victory for DeSantis, who spent months courting voters in all 99 Iowa counties. The arch-conservative governor, who takes a tough line on migration policy, thanked his supporters for their support while “the whole world was against us” and the media “wrote our obituary a few months ago.”

Haley, the only woman in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, did not give up despite her third place and announced a better performance in the next primaries. The ex-diplomat is the new favorite of some Republicans and is particularly valued in business circles.

The entrepreneur and political newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy only got around seven percent and announced his withdrawal from the race for the presidential candidacy. “We are stopping this presidential campaign,” he told supporters. Trump now has his “full support” in the race for the White House.

Participants in the traditional Iowa caucus braved freezing temperatures and snow and gathered in schools, libraries and churches to cast their votes. After a prayer and an oath of allegiance to the American flag, the party members made speeches to support their favorite and finally voted in secret.

“A great night,” said 62-year-old cardiologist Allan Latcham. He emphasized that he was in favor of Trump returning to Washington because “he will help with the border,” with a view to migration from Latin America.

However, some Republicans do not want to support another Trump presidency. “I can hardly think about it. He’s a slob. A disgrace,” said Heather Jacobus, who cast her vote for Haley.

The next primary election will take place on January 23rd in the state of New Hampshire, where Haley is hoping for a particularly good result. The primaries drag on for months. The winner of the nationwide Republican primary will then challenge incumbent Biden of the Democratic Party in the presidential election on November 5th.

The 81-year-old Biden is running for a second term despite his old age. The Democrats are also holding primaries, but Biden has already been de facto determined as the candidate. In Iowa, Democrats are voting by email, and the result is not expected to be announced until early March.

For Republican political consultant Mike Madrid, Biden is “the big winner” of the Iowa primary. “He gets the candidate he wants: Trump,” Madrid said in online services.