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The Iowa Caucuses



Please note that this article is intended to provide factual coverage of events and is NOT intended to express political opinion. Any and all opinions that may be implied do not represent the official stances of the Poudre Press, Poudre School District, or Poudre High School.





Bolded words are defined at the bottom of this article






The year is officially 2024, we have a Presidential election on our hands. While November is when the contest of greatest importance will take place, we have many other contests to decide who will be the heads of the parties. January 15th was the first contest of this cycle, the Iowa Republican Caucus. Leading up to election day four major candidates remained in the race, former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron Desantis, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. The polls predicted Trump with a large lead over all the other candidates, with Desantis and Haley neck and neck for second place. This polling indicates a rather strange phenomenon considering normally the Iowa caucus is very competitive. In 2016 for instance, Senator Ted Cruz won with only 27.6% of the vote, barely beating out Trump by 3 points. The likely reason for voters' abnormal intentions is due to a former President being in the race; this poses many advantages for Trump over the other candidates, including name recognition along with a knowledge of how the candidate would govern. Desantis managed to wrack up many endorsements including Bob Vander an influential evangelical minister, and the governor of Iowa Kim Reynolds. Trump thus far has secured many endorsements outside of Iowa including over 100 U.S. Representatives and over 20 Senators. Ramaswamy and Haley meanwhile have not received many meaningful endorsements, except Haley did get New Hampshire's governors support (although this will likely be unhelpful until the New Hampshire primary). On the day of the caucus Iowa was dealing with heavy snow and freezing temperatures, which likely negatively impacted turnout with almost 80,000 less Iowans voting in this caucus compared to 2016. 


By a nearly 30 point margin Donald Trump won the Iowa caucus with 51% of the vote and almost every single county. Ron Desantis came in 2nd place winning 21.2% and no counties. Nikki Haley finished 3rd coming out with 19.1% and winning a single county (by 1 vote). Vivek Ramaswamy received 7.7% and won no counties. After the caucus Ramaswamy dropped out of the race and endorsed Trump for President. In another turn of events, two days before the New Hampshire primary Ron Desantis dropped out, and he also endorsed Trump. Leaving the contest as a two way race, Trump vs. Haley. Polls had generally indicated that Trump will win Iowa by double digits, although likely not as high of a margin as Iowa. The polls are never completely accurate however, and sometimes way off, so take them with a grain of salt. 





The New Hampshire primary will also be the first contest for the Democratic party, it's expected that President Biden will win by a comfortable margin. Except he is running as a write-in candidate, meaning his name won’t appear on the ballot, people will have to write Biden’s name in if they wish to vote for him. The unique circumstances of a former President running against the President who defeated him in the preceding election is rare, only happening once in 1892. Due to the name recognition and political clout of the leading candidates for the respective parties, the primary cycles in this election may be relegated as significantly less eventful than a traditional primary race.



Political Dictionary:


  • Caucus: Caucuses are meetings run by political parties that are held at the county, district, or precinct level. [The Iowa Caucus] require participants to divide themselves into groups according to the candidate they support. Undecided participants form their own group. Each candidate’s group gives speeches and tries to get others to join their group.

  • Primary: Primary elections are when voters have a chance to pick their party's candidate for a general election. Some primary elections require people to be registered with the Democratic or Republican party.


  • Endorsement: [Someone] putting [their] name behind a candidate means, figuratively, carrying that candidate’s record, reputation, and actions on your back.


Please note that this article is intended to provide factual coverage of events and is NOT intended to express political opinion. Any and all opinions that may be implied do not represent the official stances of the Poudre Press, Poudre School District, or Poudre High School.



Brody is a senior at Poudre High School working at the Poudre Press for the first time. Some of Brody's interests include government, history, and world events. He runs a column called 2024 Today which delves into relevant news around the upcoming 2024 election. You can find his blog here.



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