Iowa caucuses look like a race for second place
With the Iowa caucuses now just four weeks away, it’s almost possible to project the Republican winner: former President Donald Trump.
The Des Moines Register Iowa Poll last week shows Trump with a 32-point lead over his nearest challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The poll conducted Dec. 2-7 has Trump at 51%, DeSantis at 19% and Nikki Haley at 16%. All other candidates are in single digits.
“It’s time for the Republican Party to unite, to come together to focus our energy and resources on beating crooked Joe Biden and taking back our country,” Trump said at an Iowa rally over the weekend.
Trump and his supporters say they’re hoping for a blowout victory. The record margin of victory in the Iowa caucuses is 12 points.
“The drama in Iowa will be who’s in second place and how far back are they?” says Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Making that even more remarkable, according to Jacobs, is the fact Trump faces 91 criminal charges in four different jurisdictions.
“These indictments, which would have killed any other candidate, has actually helped boost him to a level that looks very, very difficult to overcome.”
Jacobs predicts Trump will win the nomination quickly but says the general election will be less predictable.
“It’s gonna be pretty quick. Donald Trump is gonna be the nominee, I think, possibly within a month of when it starts or maybe six weeks,” Jacobs said. “And then what happens? That’s going to be the challenge for the Republican Party. Are they going to be behind a candidate who is quite vulnerable to declining support if he is, in fact, convicted?”
Trump not only leads in the Iowa caucus polls, but in a national average of general election polls in a hypothetical rematch between Trump and Biden, Trump leads by 3.5 points.