Photos and Text by Eric M. Appleman.
Copyright © 2024  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.


Caucus Week

  • Jan. 10, 2024 - In CNN debate, DeSantis and Haley face off five days before the caucuses.

  • Jan. 11, 2024 - Former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) Countdown to Caucus rally at Toast in Ankeny.

  • Jan. 11, 2024 - Donald Trump Jr. addresses supporters at Trump campaign headquarters in Urbandale.

  • Jan. 11, 2024 - Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) Never Back Down Countdown to Caucus rally at Bella Love Event Center in Clive. 

  • Jan. 13, 2024 - Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) Never Back Down Countdown to Caucus rally at NBD headquarters in West Des Moines.

  • Jan. 14, 2024 - Vivek Ramaswamy Polk County Commit to Caucus rally at Grimaldi's Pizzeria in Ankeny.

  • Jan. 14, 2024 - Former Gov. Asa Hutchison (R-AR) Return to Normal tour stop at Jethro's BBQ in Ames.

  • Jan. 14, 2024 - Ryan Binkley campaign rally at Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport.

Overview:Low Temps, Low Turnout and Trump Wins Big           

The January 15, 2024 Iowa Republican precinct caucuses were the first contest of the GOP presidential nominating process to select a challenger to likely Democratic nominee President Joe Biden. Although there was some vigorous competition during the summer and fall of 2023, by Caucus Day the field of Republican candidates had thinned from 14 to eight1.

Throughout the campaign, polls showed former President Donald J. Trump with a substantial lead, and this—and the absence of a Democratic race—led to somewhat of a stunted campaign.
By caucus week, attention focused on the battle for second place between Gov. Ron DeSantis (FL) and former UN Ambassador and Gov. Nikki Haley (SC). A major winter storm and sub-zero temperatures made campaigning difficult in the closing days.

Turnout was a big question, and turnout was low2. On the freezing Monday night, just 110,272 caucusgoers came out across the state. They handed Trump a decisive and expected victory—he won the caucuses by a record margin, gaining support of 51.0% caucusgoers to 21.2% for Gov. Ron DeSantis and 19.1% for former Gov. Nikki Haley. 

The caucuses further winnowed the Republican field: Vivek Ramaswamy, who finished third at 7.7%, ended his campaign in his caucus night speech and endorsed Trump.  Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson bowed out the next day.

Democrats are doing an all mail-in/online presidential preference process with results to be announced March 5.

1. Thirteen is the most commonly used number of major Republican candidates; fourteen includes longshot Ryan Binkley, who ran a national campaign including a major ballot access effort, detailed policy proposals, and, in Iowa, visits to all 99 counties.
2. By contrast, turnout in the 2016 Iowa Republican caucuses, won by Sen. Ted Cruz, was 186,932 (>).

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