Tuesday, January 16, 2024


Donald Trump won the Iowa caucuses with 51% of the vote. Ron DeSantis was second at 21.2%. Nikki Haley finished third with 19.1%. Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker sees a silver lining:

But that's not a reason for optimism. More than 70% of Iowa caucusgoers voted for a proud authoritarian -- Trump or DeSantis. We all fear Trump, but DeSantis is the one who said more than once on the campaign trail that he'd "slit throats" as president, a reference to his promise to fire career federal employees. As governor of Florida, DeSantis terrorizes people who are pregnant or LGBTQ, professors, teachers, librarians, and non-white voters -- and one in five Iowans said, "Yup, that sounds good to me."

A week ago, I predicted that DeSantis would beat Haley, the mainstream media darling:

Nationally, as FiveThirtyEight notes, Republicans like DeSantis much more than they like Haley -- DeSantis's approval rating among Republicans is 62.1%, while Haley's is only 47.1%. The mainstream media ignores DeSantis's enduring popularity among Republicans because mainstream journalists' ideal president is a moderate-seeming Republican like Haley, whose ascent (which we now know won't happen) would prove that the GOP is just fine and doesn't need to be covered like the threat to America it really is.

According to the AP/NORC entrance poll of Iowa, 12% 11% of caucusgoers voted for Joe Biden in 2020, and of those, 68% chose Haley. By my calculation, approximately 8% 7.5% of caucus voters were Biden-Haley voters, and more than nearly 40% of her voters fell into that category. Haley has a constituency, but it's not Republicans.

She'll do okay in New Hampshire and decently in her home state of South Carolina, but she'll lose both, drop out, and endorse Trump. DeSantis will drop out after New Hampshire and endorse Trump. (DeSantis's withdrawal will probably push Trump past 60% in South Carolina.)

The AP/NORC poll says that the economy wasn't the top issue for Iowa caucus voters -- when asked to choose, 33% said the economy was the top issue, but 41% said immigration. The caucusgoers were voting on "blood poisoning," not the price of eggs. So, no, I don't see much to cheer about in last night's results.


UPDATE. From Threads:

I believe it, but only because, as I explain above, the entrance polls say that nearly 40% of Haley's voters voted for Biden the last time. So assuming a magin of error, this would be no net gain.

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