Voting despite the bitter cold: Republican primaries begin in Iowa

Biting cold and a clear favorite: the starting signal for the Republican presidential primaries will be given in the US state of Iowa on Monday. A survey published at the weekend once again made it clear that former President Donald Trump can expect a clear victory in the Midwestern state hit by a winter storm: The survey published by the regional newspaper “Des Moines Register” and the broadcaster NBC comes Right-wing populist with 48 percent of the vote.

Former UN Ambassador Nikky Haley follows far behind with 20 percent, ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with 16 points. The 51-year-old former governor of the state of South Carolina gained four points compared to December, while the 45-year-old right-wing hardliner DeSantis lost three points. The 38-year-old biotechnology entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy comes to eight percent.

Trump’s lead narrowed a little: in December, 51 percent of those surveyed who were likely to take part in the primary election in Iowa voted for the 77-year-old, but now it was three points less. His current lead of 28 percentage points over second-placed Haley is still historic.

The ex-president also has an important advantage: according to the survey, Trump is particularly popular among particularly committed voters. That could be a big plus given the current weather conditions: Iowa has been hit by a severe winter storm with massive snowfall, strong winds and low temperatures below zero.

The conservative Republican presidential candidates therefore had to cancel a number of appearances in the final stretch of the election campaign. Temperatures that will feel like less than minus 30 degrees are predicted for Monday.

Trump called on his supporters to go to the primary despite adverse weather conditions: “Our grassroots supporters have put us in a position to win,” said the 2017 to 2021 president. “Now we have to show up to vote for President Trump on Monday to vote and get the job done.”

Trump has been leading the pre-election polls by a large margin for a long time – despite his many judicial problems with four indictments. The competitors are therefore primarily concerned with the question of who can establish themselves as the most promising Trump challenger in the primaries in the first states – in the hope of then rallying all Trump-critical conservative voters behind them.

Political analyst Alex Avetoom said that if Trump gets less than 50 percent of the vote in Iowa, it would be “the first significant sign that Trump can be defeated.” Ultimately, however, this is only possible if the field of pursuers unites “behind an anti-Trump candidate”. In plain language: If the other candidates withdraw from the race.

Strictly speaking, the primaries in the agricultural state of Iowa have only limited significance; But they are symbolically important and can influence the dynamics of the race. The next primary elections will take place on January 23rd in the state of New Hampshire, where Nikki Haley is hoping for a particularly good result.

The winner of the statewide Republican primary will challenge incumbent Joe Biden of the Democratic Party in the November 5 presidential election. The 81-year-old is running for a second term despite his old age.