Iowa Caucus replay: Donald Trump defeats his Republican rivals in pivotal race

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Former President Donald Trump clinched victory in the Iowa Caucuses on Monday, celebrating a quick win over his Republican rivals.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis secured second place ahead of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. The political newcomer on Monday suspended his longshot 2024 bid after the caucuses came to a close, telling supporters there was "no path" forward for his campaign

Catch up with the USA TODAY Network's live coverage of the Iowa Caucuses here. Our reporters in Iowa and across the country talked to caucusgoers, leaders and organizers to answer your questions and bring you key updates.

Vivek Ramaswamy suspends presidential campaign, endorses Donald Trump

Vivek Ramaswamy is dropping out of the presidential race, his campaign spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin confirmed Monday night.

"There's no path for me to be the next president, absent things we don't want to see happen in this country," he said in a speech announcing that he was suspending his campaign after a 4th place finish in the Iowa Caucuses.

Ramaswamy said the next president must be an "America First" president. He said he would throw his support behind Donald Trump. As he announced he was ending his bid, Ramaswamy had 8,093 votes, or 7.7%, in the Republican Iowa Caucuses, with 91% of votes reporting.

Ramaswamy held the most events in Iowa, which he did by far – 323 scheduled public events, according to the Des Moines Register's Candidate Tracker. His campaign says he visited every one of Iowa's 99 counties at least twice and visited many counties three or more times. He's found curious crowds but few die-hard supporters.

Ramaswamy, 38, told supporters during a campaign stop in Clive on Monday that his parents came to the U.S. from India with no money, he said. Now he’s founded companies worth billions of dollars, has a wife and two sons and is living the American Dream, Ramaswamy said.

– Des Moines Register

Former President Donald Trump leaves the podium Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, at the Trump caucus night watch party at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
Former President Donald Trump leaves the podium Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, at the Trump caucus night watch party at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Ron DeSantis finishes in second place behind Donald Trump

Ron DeSantis won second place in the Iowa Caucuses Monday night, trailing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

The Florida governor was competing with Nikki Haley for a second-place finish in the Hawkeye State.

– Marina Pitofsky

Donald Trump touts win

Donald Trump took on a conciliatory approach in his victory, complimenting his opponents and saying "we want to come together."

He joked about how close the second place battle was, though he did not name Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis. He did give a specific shout out to Vivek Ramaswamy, with whom he has been feuding in recent days.

But the former president ultimately looked to November's general election.

“This is the first, because the big night is going to be in November when we take back our country,” he said.

– David Jackson

Donald Trump set to speak in Des Moines soon

Donald Trump, who the Associated Press and other organizations have declared the winner of the Iowa Caucuses, will address supporters at his campaign's watch party in Des Moines at 9:30 p.m. CT, a senior advisor said.

– Galen Bacharier

Donald Trump's supporters celebrate victory

Trump backers at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, said they were a little surprised at the quick call on Monday night, but not shocked.

"Everybody knew he was going to win, so it's not too surprising," said Vickie Froehlich, 69, a farmer from Kenyon, Minn., who drove down for the festivities.

Froehlich scoffed at the notion that the fast call was some kind of "election interference."

"People were already at the caucuses," she said. "They knew how they were all going to vote."

– David Jackson

Donald Trump watch party in Des Moines fills up with supporters

Donald Trump's supporters have filled the auditorium at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, with a couple hundred people mingling and watching a Fox News broadcast of the results on two projectors.

Hundreds of press are filling the risers and tables in the back of the auditorium.

An early call of the caucuses by major networks and news organizations meant that when the race was called for Trump, there were no supporters present to react.–Galen Bacharier

Precinct near Des Moines sees high level of new Republican registrations

A caucus site just outside Iowa’s capital of Des Moines ran out of registration forms at one point Monday night, as almost 40% of caucusgoers there registered as Republicans. Precinct chair Jim McClure said he heard some say they were previously Democrats or Independents, while others said they had just never registered with the party before. In the past, this new registration number has been closer to 20% of caucusgoers, McClure said. There were 244 Iowans attending the caucus at Beaver Creek Elementary School on Monday night. McClure said the delay was minimal, though, as a school employee quickly photocopied additional forms.

–Savannah Kuchar

Disruption at Des Moines-area caucus site

A video posted to X, formerly Twitter, appeared to show a disruption at a caucus site at Timberline School in Waukee, Iowa.

The video, posted by Republican Florida state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, showed a man who shouted “How dare you do this on Martin Luther King Day,” before he was grabbed by people and escorted out.

Rep. Wesley Hunt of Texas later posted on X he was making a speech in support of Trump when the man interrupted and shouted Trump was "racist."

"But on this day, of all days, Martin Luther King Day, the people of Iowa, just like President Trump judge me not by the color of my skin but by the content of my character," Hunt said.

–Phillip Sitter

Donald Trump 'honored' by the early call – and says nice things about opponents

The former president didn't mind the quick call of the Iowa caucuses.

"I feel great," Trump told Fox News Digital in a post-win interview. "I am greatly honored by such an early call."

Trump was in such a good mood that he had some nice things to say about his rivals (though not by name).

"It really is an honor that, minutes after, they’ve announced I’ve won - against very credible competition- great competition, actually," Trump said.

–David Jackson

How did Donald Trump win so fast?

Not even an hour after doors closed, the Associated Press called the 2024 Iowa Caucuses for Donald Trump at just 7:31pm local time. With just eight counties reporting their results, the winner was determined by a combination of entrance polling and results from a survey of planned voters run by AP.

The eight counties with results in were, according to AP, similar in demographics and political ideology of other large precincts yet to be counted.

The AP made their call based on this data as well as analysis from elections experts, researchers, and professional race callers.

USA TODAY called the Iowa victory for Trump based on AP’s analysis and call.

– Sam Woodward

Ron DeSantis spokesperson alleges early race calling is 'election interference'

Ron DeSantis' campaign immediately criticized Trump's quick victory on Monday.

"It is absolutely outrageous that the media would participate in election interference by calling the race before tens of thousands of Iowans even had a chance to vote. The media is in the tank for Trump and this is the most egregious example yet," Andrew Romeo, DeSantis' campaign spokesperson, said in a statement.

-Kim Norvell

Donald Trump Jr. says ‘a win is a win is a win’ after his father declares victory in Iowa Caucus

Donald Trump Jr. said “a win is a win is a win” for his father, regardless of the margin of victory Monday night.

He said Donald Trump’s opponents were trying to drag out the primary process by creating unrealistic expectations, pointing out that the record margin of victory in a contested Republican caucus is Bob Dole’s 12-point win.

“I’d love to have it be a good victory,” he told reporters at the Franklin Jr. High caucus site in Des Moines. “But everyone says he’s gonna win by statistically impossible margins. And then if he does one point less than that – which would be an absolute drubbing – they’ll say, ‘He underperformed! There’s blood in the water!’”

–Stephen Gruber-Miller

Former president Donald Trump speaks to caucus goers on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, at Horizon Events Center in Clive.
Former president Donald Trump speaks to caucus goers on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, at Horizon Events Center in Clive.

Nikki Haley and Donald Trump Jr. give dueling speeches at Des Moines caucus site

Nikki Haley and Donald Trump Jr. addressed caucusgoers Monday night with competing speeches at Franklin Jr. High in Des Moines.

Haley urged caucusgoers to choose “a new generational leader” to lead the party, saying “You don’t defeat Democrat chaos with Republican chaos.”

“I trust all of you. Iowans do their homework. They know their issues,” she added. “But more than that, you’re patriotic, God-fearing, hardworking Americans and this is your chance to show the power of your voice. And this is your chance to lead the way to get our country back on track.”

Trump spoke after Haley at the caucus site, telling the crowd that the country was in good shape when his father was president. He accused Haley of wanting to involve the U.S. military in conflicts around the world.

“If they want to be in every war in the history of the world, they should vote for Nikki Haley,” he said. “If they want to get back to peace and prosperity the choice is clear that it’s Trump.”

– Stephen Gruber-Miller

Donald Trump wins Iowa Caucus

Donald Trump is projected to win the Iowa Caucus, according to the Associated Press and a slate of other outlets.

– Marina Pitofsky

Former President Donald Trump pumps his fist Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, at the Trump caucus night watch party at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
Former President Donald Trump pumps his fist Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, at the Trump caucus night watch party at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

What is my Iowa precinct number?

Iowans can find their designated caucus precinct through the Iowa Secretary of State website here.

They will be asked to enter their home ZIP code and address. After filling out their information, they’ll receive the address of the nearest polling site and directions.

To find the location of their precinct through the state’s GOP website click here and then on one of Iowa’s 99 counties.

Caucusgoers must be a registered voter and registered Republican to participate. If they are not yet registered they can do so in-person at the caucus site.

– Anthony Robledo

Iowa caucus results: GOP chair says it 'might be midnight,' but they’ll be patient with process

In the face of extreme winter weather conditions across the state, Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said precinct chairs will be patient as Iowans travel to each caucus location.

“It might be midnight that we have every single piece of data come in,” said Kaufmann, speaking to reporters about an hour before caucus sites were expected to open.

“Certainly I would rather get those results later than have anybody hurry up beyond where they feel comfortable,” he added.

Kaufmann said they have asked Iowans to arrive at caucus sites as early as possible. He went on to say that while some sites have had to change locations due to weather and icy roads, they have not had any closures.

“I’m perfectly comfortable with what is going on right now,” Kaufmann said.

– Savannah Kuchar

Trump motorcade arrives at caucus site

Donald Trump is set to speak at a caucus site at Horizon Events Center in Clive, Iowa, with his presidential motorcade arriving just after 7 p.m.

Vivek Ramaswamy and Asa Hutchinson also were to address caucusgoers there.

– Galen Bacharie

What time is it in Iowa right now?

The entire state of Iowa is in Central time.

Voting will begin there at 7 p.m., meaning 8 p.m. Eastern time and 5 p.m. Pacific time.

The state’s GOP chair has said it could take hours to know the ultimate outcome of the Iowa caucus, potentially until midnight in the Hawkeye State.

– Savannah Kuchar 

Ron DeSantis speaks at caucus sites in Dubuque, Iowa

Ron DeSantis blitzed the state on last time on Caucus Day and is ending an Iowa campaign that could make or break his presidential ambitions with pitches to voters at two Caucus sites in Dubuque.

DeSantis was scheduled to speak at the Dubuque Roosevelt Middle School and Dubuque Table Mound Elementary School Caucus sites.

He also held campaign events in Seargent Bluff, Council Bluffs, and Cedar Rapids Monday.

– Zac Anderson

Does every state have a caucus? 

Not every U.S. state holds a caucus. While some state parties, like Iowa, hold caucuses, other areas conduct presidential primary elections.

The following states will hold caucuses ahead of the 2024 General Election:

  • Iowa (Republicans on Jan. 15)

  • Nevada Republicans on Feb. 8 that will decide the state's delegates, though there is also a state-run Republican primary on Feb. 6)

  • Missouri (Republicans on March 2)

  • Idaho (Republicans on March 2. Democrats on May 23)

  • North Dakota (Republicans on March 4)

  • Utah (Republicans on March 5)

  • Hawaii (Republicans on March 12)

  • Alaska (No date yet for Republicans)

The following U.S. territories will also hold caucuses this year:

  • The Virgin Islands (Republicans on Feb. 8. No date yet for Democrats)

  • American Samoa (Democrats on March 5. No date yet for Republicans)

  • Northern Mariana Islands (No date yet for Republicans)– Anthony Robledo

The coldest caucus in Iowa history: Here’s your weather update

Of the 1,675 precincts, none have closed despite marking the coldest caucus day with extreme winter weather conditions across the state.

As Iowans travel to their polling locations, the National Weather Service reports that parts of the state will experience life-threatening wind chills, in Des Moines, as low as 30 below. Most of the state is under a windchill warning, continuing into Tuesday.

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports most northern parts of the state are having normal winter conditions. In areas around Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, roads are covered in snow, slush and ice. Most roads in the southern part of the state are partially covered in snow with windy conditions expected to drift.

– Sam Woodward

Why is the Iowa caucus so important for the election?

For 50 years, Iowans have gathered in school gymnasiums, community centers and family living rooms to kick off the nation's presidential nominating process, wielding their outsized influence to winnow and shape the field of contenders.

Ahead of each caucus, presidential candidates flood the state for months, if not years, to try to woo Iowans and gain their support. The national and international media descends on the state, ready to derive meaning from caucus night results.

Brianne Pfannenstiel

Who is winning the election so far?

Donald Trump has long led the Republican field, both in state and national surveys.

In a Real Clear Politics average of national Republican polls, Trump leads the group of GOP hopefuls with 61.4% Nikki Haley trails the former president with 12%, and DeSantis has garnered 10.7%

– Marina Pitofsky

Iowa poll finds a Donald Trump conviction would be no big deal to most GOP caucusgoers

Former President Donald Trump is running an unprecedented campaign for the White House as he faces 91 criminal charges, bouncing between rallies and court appearances.

Depending on how his four ongoing court battles proceed, he could be convicted of a crime before the general election in 2024. But just ahead of the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses Monday, a majority of likely Republican caucusgoers say a Trump conviction would not affect their support, a new Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll finds.

Sixty-one percent say a potential conviction “does not matter” in determining their general election support for him. Nineteen percent say a conviction would make them more likely to support Trump, and 18% say it would make them less likely. Two percent say they are not sure.

–Galen Bacharier

Donald Trump stays low-key on caucus night

Unless you count social media, Donald Trump spent the daylight hours of Iowa caucus day out of the public eye.

Reporters did catch the former president briefly at a hotel, where he predicted that "we're going to have a great night."The Trump campaign, meanwhile, set up a post-caucus party at the Iowa Events Center.

– David Jackson

Nikki Haley on immigration, the economy

Nikki Haley is trailing frontrunner Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination for president by 34 percentage points, a recent Suffolk University poll showed.

The former U.N. ambassador has cited her deep knowledge of world affairs and record of economic growth as governor throughout her campaign. She stays true to traditional Republican views on reducing government regulation, calling for tax cuts and a balancing the nation's budget, even coining the slogan “it’s time for an accountant in the White House.”

Haley has vocalized that she views China as America’s biggest adversary by calling to end trade relations and eliminating Chinese investment in U.S. companies and universities. She has also distinguished herself from some of her rivals with her unapologetic support in continuing to aid Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

As the daughter of two Indian immigrants, Haley has vowed to improve legal immigration pathways and address the over 11 million estimated undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. As president, she pledges to crack down on illegal immigration at the U.S. southern border by once again requiring asylum seekers stay in the bordering country during their immigration proceedings and defunding cities that don’t enforce certain immigration laws.

– Anthony Robledo

Ron DeSantis's campaign promises

Ron DeSantis entered the 2024 race last May, casting himself as an alternative to Donald Trump and a staunch conservative not afraid to partake in culture war battles.

DeSantis has marked his time as governor with sweeping education bills adding fire to the flame of culture wars surrounding gender identity and parents’ rights in the state and more. He has been outspoken in his opposition against critical race theory, signing legislation to ban it and saying he had a mission to dismantle the so-called “woke” agenda in schools.

His support for Ukraine stops short of sending troops overseas and instead proposes to send them to the southern border. DeSantis said he supports the use of deadly force to secure the area from some illegal immigrants entering through the Mexican border.

On the first day of his potential presidency, DeSantis said he would reverse President Joe Biden's signature "Bidenomics" policies by slashing government spending and extending Trump-era tax cuts to achieve a goal of 3% economic growth for the country.

As governor, DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban.

– Sam Woodward

Is there a Democratic caucus in Iowa?

Yes, Democrats will hold a caucus in Iowa this year too, which President Joe Biden is currently expected to win.

But Democrats will not be choosing a presidential candidate in-person on Jan. 15. Instead, they will be conducting party business, including electing delegates and alternate delegates to county conventions, electing county central committee members and submitting platform resolutions for county conventions.

In an effort to simplify their process and make it more inclusive, Iowa Democrats have moved to an entirely mail-in system of casting their presidential preferences. Iowa Democrats can request an absentee presidential preference card, which functions like a ballot, that they can fill out and return to the state party until March 5, when results will be announced.

The last day to submit a request for a preference card is Feb. 19. Cards can be requested online at

− Des Moines Register staff

Donald Trump on the issues

Donald Trump is the clear frontrunner in the race to secure the Republican nomination for president, even as he faces 91 charges across four criminal cases.

Trump has made the cases a central focus of his reelection campaign, arguing he is being targeted and pledging to use the powers of the federal government to investigate alleged wrongdoing by his political opponents.

He has also pledged to ramp up deportations and arrests at the southern border, institute a more isolationist foreign policy approach and rejuvenate the economy by increasing oil drilling and reducing regulations.

Trump has slammed crime in cities and floated using the military to crack down on protestors. He is opposed to most legislation aimed at slowing climate change. In Iowa, he has been more moderate on abortion, calling a six-week abortion ban like one that passed in the state a “horrible thing.”

Trump has largely left the Iowa Caucuses famous retail politicking to his competitors, making only 22 public visits to the state the entire campaign cycle. However, he remained 32 percentage points ahead of the rest of the field in a December Iowa Poll.

– Riley Beggin

Vivek Ramaswamy's political views

Vivek Ramaswamy, 38, is aiming to win Monday's caucuses by holding the most events in Iowa, which he did by far — 323 scheduled public events, according to the Des Moines Register's Candidate Tracker.

An Ohio native, Ramaswamy is a biotech entrepreneur who founded Roivant Sciences. He has written multiple books, including “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam” which describes capitalism as an invisible force in politics. He has criticized what he calls a “national identity crisis,” instead touting “faith, patriotism and hard work.”

Ramaswamy has also often noted on the campaign trail that he is the first millennial to run for president as a Republican.

He has proposed shutting down the Department of Education and redistributing that money back to parents. On immigration, he supports deporting swaths of undocumented immigrants and has balked at a path to legal citizenship for them. Ramaswamy has repeatedly opposed a federal abortion ban but has supported six-week bans in individual states with exceptions for rape, incest and severe medical emergencies.

– Rachel Looker

Why Nikki Haley's supporters aren’t worried – but excited – about a potential second-place finish in Iowa

Republican presidential candidates made their final pushes in Iowa this weekend as the state gears up for Monday’s critical caucuses.

Nikki Haley enters caucus day with a 4-point lead ahead of Ron DeSantis, according to the latest Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom poll. But she still trails Iowa’s expected winner, former Donald Trump, by almost 30 percentage points.

Her likely barrel towards a second-place finish is not concerning her most fervent supporters, who came out to see her in treacherous weather that swept below zero degrees.

– Savannah Kuchar

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024 in Adel, Iowa.
Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024 in Adel, Iowa.

Donald Trump risks a loss in Iowa – even if he wins the 2024 caucus. Here's how.

After years of investigations, indictments and other unprecedented legal and political problems, former President Donald Trump on Monday will start to find out whether actual voters will validate his huge leads in polls.

As the Iowa caucuses roll around Monday night, Trump and his aides say they hope to win by a record margin − and maybe even exceed 50% support.

But at the same time, they know anything short of a blowout will be seen by opponents as a sign of potential weakness in the former president's bid to reclaim the White House. Trump on Sunday seemed to both set his own goal of 50% support in Iowa, while also downplaying the potential target.

– David Jackson

What is a caucus and how does it work?

In an election, a caucus refers to a group of party supporters meeting to choose their candidate in the months leading up to an election. They are run at the district, county or precinct level.

Caucus participants give speeches and work to persuade other party members to support their candidates. Then, participants cast their votes either via secret ballot or as they're divided into groups based on who they support. Votes are counted in front of all caucus participants, tallied and sent to the state party.

– Sam Woodward

What’s the difference between a caucus and a primary?

States can choose whether to have a caucus or a primary to allow voters to choose their party’s nominee for president. In both cases, a candidate gets a number of delegates at the national party convention based on a percentage of the vote they received in that state.

Primaries are elections organized by the state, whereas caucuses are in-person meetings organized by political parties. Voters have to be a registered party member to participate.

While primary voters fill out a secret ballot much like a general election, caucusgoers hear speeches from their neighbors on behalf of the candidates.

Afterward, caucus attendees write down their preferred candidate on a slip of paper usually left blank. Each precinct tallies ballots and reports the total to the state party.

– Riley Beggin

When will Iowa caucus results be in?

Iowa Republicans are expecting a smooth night on Monday as they report caucus results from 1,657 precincts around the state, in contrast to issues that plagued Democrats' caucuses in 2020 and prevented reports of timely and accurate results.

Patrick Stewart, a consultant for the Republican Party of Iowa, told reporters ahead of the 2024 contest that results from the smallest precincts, where only a few people show up to caucus, should be available about 30 minutes or so after their 7 p.m. start. Results from larger precincts should begin coming in over the next few hours.

But, historically, Iowa's caucus results haven't always been known right away on night.

− Stephen Gruber-Miller

Gary Leffler attends a rally for Former President Donald Trump,Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.
Gary Leffler attends a rally for Former President Donald Trump,Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

How does the Iowa caucus work?

Iowa caucusgoers on Monday will hold a binding vote for the party's presidential nominee and elect delegates to county conventions.

Voters can visit 1,657 caucus sites throughout Iowa.

Voting is done with a secret ballot with no set list of candidates to choose from. Some caucus sites provide pre-printed names of major candidates and a write-in option but most of the time voters write the name of the candidate on a blank paper sheet.

The event does not require a minimum threshold to qualify for delegates. Delegates will attend this summer's Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where the Republican Party's official nominee will be chosen.

– Anthony Robledo

Yes, there's Iowa Caucus merch

Des Moines-based retailer Raygun once again has merchandise related to the Iowa Caucuses ready for shoppers wanting to memorialize the day with a witty T-shirt. Raygun, a popular stop for Iowa Caucus-visitors, has several new sarcastic designs available for purchase online and in stores.

Those include a T-shirt with the phrase, “What the hell is a caucus? And where the hell is Iowa?” Other designs include shirt “Election 2024: Welp, I guess we’re doing this again" and a button that reads “Iowa Caucuses: They’re Letting Us Do This Again?!”

Owner Mike Draper told the Des Moines Register last week that the designs were inspired by a quote overheard on a New York subway and emailed to Raygun.More merchandise will be dependent on what happens out of the Iowa Caucuses, Draper explained.In 2020, Raygun produced a shirt faster than the Iowa Democratic Party was able to announce results after widespread reporting problems caused a significant delay.

– Paris Barraza

A volunteer plunges campaign signs for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis into deep snow outside the Chrome Horse Saloon one day before the Iowa caucuses on January 14, 2024 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
A volunteer plunges campaign signs for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis into deep snow outside the Chrome Horse Saloon one day before the Iowa caucuses on January 14, 2024 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

When does the Iowa caucus end?

The Iowa Caucus doesn't have a pre-set time when election officials are expected to announce a winner. The caucuses will start at 7 p.m. CT, and officials and organizers across the state are expected to give regular updates on their progress.

But keep in mind that, historically, Iowa's caucus results haven't always been known right away on election night.

– Marina Pitofsky, Stephen Gruber-Miller

What happens after the Iowa Caucus?

The Iowa Caucus is a pivotal presidential contest, but it leads into other primaries and caucuses across the country. After the Iowa Caucuses end, here are the next races where Republican candidates will face off for support.

  • Jan. 23: New Hampshire primary

  • Feb. 8: Nevada caucus, Virgin Islands caucus

  • Feb. 24: South Carolina primary

– Marina Pitofsky

A person tries to give Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a 'participation trophy' during a campaign stop on Jan. 13, 2024 in Atlantic, Iowa. DeSantis did not take the trophy and the person was escorted out of the room. Iowa Republicans will be the first to select their party's nomination for the 2024 presidential race when they go to caucus on Jan. 15, 2024.

Ron DeSantis says he's not dropping out after Iowa

Hours before the official start of the Iowa Caucuses, Ron DeSantis and allies are busy swatting down suggestions that he should drop out if he does poorly in Iowa.

"We're going on with this," DeSantis told MSNBC. "We've been built for the long haul. It's all about the accumulation of delegates."

– David Jackson

Why each Republican candidate can win the Iowa Caucuses. (And why they can't)

Caucus night is nearly here, and the campaigns are setting expectations for caucus night.

Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson, Ryan Binkley – each has carved a path to victory in the Iowa Caucuses to collect the state's 40 delegates. But each has their weaknesses.

Here's a rundown on where each candidate stands according to our January Iowa Poll; what their path to success in the Iowa Caucuses looks like; how they could fall short; and a key insight into every one of their campaigns.

–Galen Bacharier

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks to voters at a “Commit to Caucus” rally on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Ankeny.
GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks to voters at a “Commit to Caucus” rally on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Ankeny.

Vivek Ramaswamy shrugs off Donald Trump attack

One day after Donald Trump warned his supporters not to caucus for Vivek Ramaswamy during Monday's Iowa Caucuses, Ramaswamy said he would not engage with the former president.

Ramaswamy held five events Sunday, one day before Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses. During a briefing with reporters Sunday morning after an event in Ankeny, Ramaswamy called Trump's attack bad campaign advice.

Ramaswamy, 38, told reporters that he respects "the heck out of Donald Trump" and would support Trump if he gets the Republican nomination.

“It was probably an unfortunate move by his campaign advisers,” Ramaswamy said of Trump’s post. “I think he probably got bad advice. I don’t think friendly fire within our America First movement is helpful, and I’m not going to hold it against him. I’m not going to criticize him in response because he was an excellent president."

-Philip Joens

Who are the Republican candidates?

  • Ron DeSantis: DeSantis serves as the 46th governor of Florida. While in law school, DeSantis joined the U.S. Navy as a JAG officer, later deploying to Iraq for active duty. Before his run for governor, he served in the House of Representatives as a congressman for Florida's 6th district for three terms from 2013 to 2018.

  • Nikki Haley: Haley started her political career in South Carolina's state legislature, where she served for 6 years before mounting a successful campaign for the governor's office in 2010. In 2016, former President Donald Trump nominated Haley to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a position she held for a year before unexpectedly stepping down in 2018.

  • Asa HutchinsonHutchinson was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to serve Arkansas' 3rd district in 1997. He served until 2001 when he was appointed director for the Drug Enforcement Administration and later undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security for former President George W. Bush's administration. After leaving Washington, he was elected 46th Governor of Arkansas. He served for two terms, from 2015 to 2023.

  • Vivek Ramaswamy: Ramaswamy is a former biotech investor who founded the pharmaceutical research company Roivant Sciences in 2014. He stepped down as CEO in 2021 after going more public with his opposition to ESG and 'woke' politics in the corporate sector. He moved on to found Strive Asset Management, before stepping down to dedicate time to his 2024 run.

  • Donald Trump: Prior to 2016, Trump dabbled in politics, often sounding off on issues like the birther movement. However, he was still primarily known for real estate and his forays into reality television, famously starring in "The Apprentice." In 2016, Trump won the White House, serving a full four-year term before being defeated by Biden in his reelection bid.–Anna Kaufman & Veronica Bravo

Trump began Iowa caucus day with another blast at Ramaswamy

"A VOTE FOR VIVEK IS A WASTED VOTE," Trump said in an all-caps post on Truth Social, maintaining an attack plan that began over the weekend.

Trump and allies said Ramaswamy is trying to keep their Iowa margin down by cutting into their vote.

"I LIKE VIVEK, BUT HE PLAYED IT TOO 'CUTE' WITH US," Trump said in his post.

Trump used his second post to attack higher-polling rivals, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.

=David Jackson

Who is projected to win? The Iowa Poll offers a snapshot of the state of the race

Former president Donald Trump shows a commanding lead among Republican candidates, but a Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll released Saturday showed Haley pulling ahead of DeSantis for the second-place spot for the first time. She has shown more upward momentum than any other candidate in the caucus cycle.

In addition his strides ahead of the other candidates, Trump may have more dedicated supporters. Poll results show that 82% of respondents who picked Trump as their first choice candidate said their mind was made up. For DeSantis and Haley supporters, that contingency came in at 64% and 63% respectively.

Still, polls show man Republican caucusgoers aren't wild about MAGA, a movement referencing Trump's "Make American Great Again" slogan. Thirty-eight percent of poll respondents said they have neutral feelings about the MAGA movement, and 17% say they are “anti-MAGA.”

Brianne PfannenstielMichaela Ramm & Kinsey Crowley

Most GOP caucusgoers aren’t wild about MAGA, Iowa Poll shows

While former President Donald Trump has built a commanding lead with likely Republican caucusgoers in Iowa, less than half identify with his MAGA brand, according to a new Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll.

Forty percent of Iowans who plan to caucus for Republicans Monday say they align with the MAGA identity, a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, which has sometimes become synonymous with conservative politics.

Eighteen percent of likely Republican caucusgoers say they consider themselves “ultra MAGA,” and 22% say they identify as “just regular MAGA” supporters.

Of the anti-Maga contingent, 60% plan to vote for U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who has coalesced the never-Trump contingent into her camp of supporters.

-Galen Bacharier

Iowa weather today: What's the forecast for Caucus day?

While Monday's caucus is expected to be the coldest on record, there won't be much new snow.

AccuWeather meteorologist Kerry Schwindenhammer said there will be very little precipitation, with conditions mainly dry with a mix of clouds and sunshine. Snow from last week's blizzard remains across much of the state, though Schwindenhammer expects conditions will ease today.

Winds in northwestern Iowa are expected to move at 10 to 20 mph. However, the arctic air will make being outside brutal nonetheless.

“This kind of cold can be downright dangerous. It's not a time to go outside and wear a light jacket, you're going to want to bundle up," Schwindenhammer said. "Wear all the layers you need to wear in order to stay warm here. And the less time you can spend outdoors, the better."

– Anthony Robledo

Latest forecast: Bundle up for subzero temps, coldest caucus on record

Bitterly frigid temperatures and subzero wind chills throughout Iowa will test caucusgoer's willingness to support their favorite presidential candidates today.

Monday is expected to be the coldest Iowa Caucus since it began in 1972. The low at the first caucuses was four degrees below zero, with a wind chill of 26 degrees below zero. The high that day was 25 degrees.

The forecast for today calls for a high of zero degrees, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Kerry Schwindenhammer. But temperatures, he said, could feel like 20 to 25 degrees below zero — or even 30 degrees below zero in some spots.– Anthony Robledo

When is the Iowa caucus?

The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Jan. 15, starting at 7 p.m.

The Democratic and Republican contests are operating differently this year. Catch up with the the Des Moines Register, part of the USA TODAY Network, on what you need to know about the races.

Marina Pitofsky

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Iowa Caucus replay: Catch up after Trump won, DeSantis followed