Iowa Latest: Haley Unveils New Ad, Looking to New Hampshire

(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump cruised to victory in the Iowa caucuses, strengthening his status as the clear Republican frontrunner for his party’s 2024 nomination. Ron DeSantis came in second, with Nikki Haley finishing a close third.

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Ohio entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy ended his presidential bid after a disappointing showing.

(All time stamps Iowa, CT)

Haley Sets Sights on Trump Ahead of Friendlier New Hampshire (7:20 a.m.)

Haley, whose third place finish may have sapped some of her recent momentum, released a new ad early Tuesday that ties Trump and Biden as the “two most disliked politicians in America.”

In the ad dubbed “Better Choice,” Haley’s campaign nods to Trump and Biden’s advanced ages, saying the two men are focused on “the grievances of the past.” Haley regularly calls for a new generation of leaders. Recent polls have shown her running a strong second to Trump in next week’s contest.

Trump Is ‘Clear Frontrunner,’ Biden Says (10:50 p.m.)

President Joe Biden downplayed the significance of Trump’s victory, even as he dubbed the former president the “clear fontrunner.”

“Looks like Donald Trump just won Iowa,” Biden posted on X, formerly Twitter. “He’s the clear frontrunner on the other side at this point. But here’s the thing: This election was always going to be you and me vs extreme MAGA Republicans. It was true yesterday and it’ll be true tomorrow.” — Kathleen Hunter

Turnout Projected to Be Lowest Since 2000 (10:45 p.m.)

Whether it was the frigid conditions or Trump’s projected victory, Iowa Republicans turned out at the lowest level in nearly a quarter century. Around 100,000 Iowans filed into precincts to vote, according to projections released by state Republican chair Jeff Kaufmann.

Some 186,000 Iowans turned out for the Republican caucuses in 2016. —Gregory Korte

Ramaswamy Leaves Race, Endorses Trump (10:38 p.m.)

Vivek Ramaswamy, a political novice who gained attention for his outspoken debate performances, ended his long-shot presidential bid after a weak showing in Iowa and threw his support behind Trump.

“As I’ve said since the beginning, there are two America First candidates in this race, and I called Donald Trump to tell him that,” Ramaswamy, who is seen as a likely candidate for a job in a second Trump administration, told supporters in Des Moines. “Going forward he will have my full endorsement.”

DeSantis ‘Earned His Ticket Out of Iowa,’ Campaign Says (10:26 p.m.)

A DeSantis senior campaign official saw vindication in the second-place results, after weeks of buzz that Haley was overtaking him as the Trump alternative.

“They threw everything at Ron DeSantis. They couldn’t kill him. He is not only still standing, but he’s now earned his ticket out of Iowa,” the official said. “This is going to be a long battle ahead, but that is what this campaign is built for. The stakes are too high for this nation and we will not back down.”- Laura Davison

Trump Hints at Burgum Role If He Wins a Second Term (10:10 p.m.)

Trump said he hopes that he can call on North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum to be a “very important” part of his administration if he returns to the White House.

“This guy is the most solid guy, there is no controversy whatsoever,” Trump said during his victory speech Monday. Burgum, who dropped his presidential bid last year, endorsed Trump on Sunday and is considered to be a top pick for a Cabinet position or other key role if Trump were to win a second term. — Stephanie Lai

Late-Reporting Counties Could Break for Haley, Strategist Says (9:01 p.m.)

The counties that are likely to report caucus results last are suburban areas that are prone to favor Haley, David Kochel, an Iowa political strategist said.

“The largest counties report latest, because these are hand-counted ballots on the ground by volunteers,” Kochel said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Clive, Dallas, Marion and Linn couties are among these where Haley has the potential to perform better than DeSantis, he said. —Kailey Leinz and Joe Mathieu

Democrat-Turned-Republican Caucuses for Haley (8:55 p.m.)

Analysts speculate frequently about this category of Iowa voter: the registered Democrat who crosses over and joins Republicans on caucus night to support Haley’s bid — and what impact that might have on the results.

Scott Matter, 59, of Des Moines, fits the bill. Matter intends to vote for Biden in November, but threw his weight behind Haley Monday as a way to try to ensure Trump is denied the Republican nomination.

“It was worth it to change my registration and cast a vote that I hope will start the process to stop Trump, even if that looks unlikely at this point,” he said. —Charissa Isidro, Lia Ehrl-

Trump ‘Honored’ By Early Win Against ‘Great Competition’ (8:49 p.m.)

Trump said he was “greatly honored” by the early call from news outlets that he had won the Iowa caucuses 32 minutes after voters gathered.

“I feel great,” Trump told Fox News Digital, in a change of tone from previous victory statements. The former president said it was especially gratifying to win so handily against “great competition.” —Matt Shirley

DeSantis Campaign Dubs Early Call ‘Election Interference’ (8:13 p.m.)

The DeSantis camp was quick to criticize the early race calls for Trump.

“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,” said DeSantis campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The media is in the tank for Trump and this is the most egregious example yet.”

Trump Declared Winner to Empty Room (7:57 p.m.)

Trump’s crowning as the Iowa caucus winner came before his supporters had time to gather in downtown Des Moines for what he deemed his victory party. The call — about 30 minutes after caucuses convened — came as rock music blared in an empty room. —Stephanie Lai

Trump Cruises to Iowa Caucus Victory (7:35 p.m.)

Trump cruised to victory in the Iowa caucus, according to news outlets, warding off a late challenge from rivals DeSantis and Haley and cementing his status as the clear Republican frontrunner in the race.

News organizations including the Associated Press, CNN and CBS News called the contest for Trump. —Stephanie Lai, Nancy Cook

Des Moines Mayor Skeptical Democrats Will Register as Republicans (7:15 p.m.)

Des Moines Mayor Connie Boesen, a Democrat, said she is skeptical that large numbers of Democrats will register as Republicans on caucus night, a move that is allowed under the Iowa Republican Party rules.

Democrats changing their party affiliation to caucus Monday would likely boost Haley. Democrats and independents make up half of Haley’s support, according to the latest Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers. That poll showed Haley in second place with 20% support. — Julia Press

Wind Chill Will Make It Feel Like -25F When Caucuses Kick Off (5:00 p.m.)

Bundle up, caucusgoers. Not only is this year’s event the coldest on record, the temperature with wind chill will feel like -25F (-32C), frigid enough to cause frostbite in about 30 minutes. -Gregory Korte

Iowa Republicans Rank Immigration as Top Issue Ahead of Economy (4:30 p.m.)

Some 4 in 10 Iowa Republican voters ranked immigration as the most important issue facing the US, while a third picked the economy as their top concern, according to AP VoteCast.

The results of the latest survey in the Midwestern state underscore how the influx of migrants across the southern border has become a national issue, straining towns in Texas to cities such as New York and Chicago.

Most Iowa Republican voters also said they were seeking total or substantial change in how the US government operates. AP VoteCast is a survey of more than 1,500 voters who said they planned to take part in Monday’s Republican caucuses in Iowa. -Gregory Korte

Trump Says He’ll Have ‘Tremendous Night Tonight’ (3:29 p.m.)

Trump on Monday claimed he won two Iowa caucuses, when asked about campaigning in the state less than his rivals. Trump won the Iowa caucuses in 2020, but US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas took the prize in 2016.

“We’ve won it twice, as you know, two elections,” he said as he departed the Hotel Fort Des Moines, “and I think we’re going to have a tremendous night tonight.” -Stephanie Lai

Haley and DeSantis Footwear Choices Mocked by JB Pritzker (3:05 p.m.)

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, a billionaire and major Democratic donor, mocked both Trump’s Make America Great Again agenda and shoe styles for Haley and DeSantis hours before the Iowa caucuses were to begin.

“Tonight’s contest is simply a question of whether you want the MAGA agenda in its original packaging or in high heels or with lifts in their boots,” Pritzker said at a press conference hosted by the Democratic National Committee in Des Moines. — Jordan Fabian and Nancy Cook

Burgum Sidesteps Question About Interest in Cabinet Post (1:44 p.m.)

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum didn’t rule out serving in a second-term Trump Cabinet, a day after the former presidential contender endorsed the Republican frontrunner.

“I’ve got a lot of things to think about,” Burgum told Bloomberg Television when asked if he’d serve as Energy or Interior secretary — or accept another Cabinet post if Trump wins. “I’ve got a couple of things on my plate: One is, I got a day job right now as governor of North Dakota, which I love. And I’ve got to make a decision in the next week or so on whether I’m going to run for another term for that position.” -Kailey Leinz, Joe Mathieu

DeSantis Aide Sees ‘Fuel in the Tank’ for Super Tuesday (12:02 p.m.)

Roy Bailey, a national finance co-chair for DeSantis, said the Florida governor’s campaign has enough money to continue campaigning at least through Super Tuesday on March 5, when 15 states hold Republican presidential primaries.

“If we have the success I think we can have in Iowa and exceed expectations, I think fundraising will really be robust,” Bailey said at a Bloomberg News roundtable in Des Moines, Iowa. “But if it’s zero, we have plenty of fuel in the tank to get the job done to get into Super Tuesday.” He added that if the campaign falls short of polling in Iowa, fundraising efforts would be “tough.” —Julie Fine

Trump Poses in a Convertible, DeSantis Offers Shoveling (11:32 a.m.)

Candidates are getting creative about how they get voters to the caucuses. Trump’s campaign sent around a link for caucusgoers to request rides to their local precincts. It includes a photo of Trump in a convertible.

DeSantis’s campaign is offering rides to caucus sites and even driveway shoveling to ensure as many supporters as possible vote, according to a campaign official. Never Back Down, DeSantis’s primary allied super PAC, is also extending rides to precincts. — Stephanie Lai, Hadriana Lowenkron

Davos Elite Meeting About Global Issues Have Iowa on Their Minds (11:30 a.m.)

Even in Davos, Switzerland, where the global elite gather every year to discuss the economy, attendees mused about the vote in Iowa and the prospect of a Trump return to the White House.

“You know, we’ve been there before, we survived it, so we’ll see what it means,” BlackRock Inc. Vice Chairman Philipp Hildebrand said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “Certainly from a European perspective, from a kind of globalist, Atlanticist perspective, it’s of course a great concern.”

Market reaction to Monday’s outcome is likely to be muted. “It remains too early in the process for this to drive markets, we will be watching for any market reactions to surprise outcomes,” according to Citigroup research note sent Monday. –Francine Lacqua

Read more: Fears Vie With Hopes as a Wary World Girds for Trump’s Return

Trump’s Lead May Be Even Higher Than Seen in Polls (11:10 a.m.)

Trump may have even more support than the latest Iowa poll suggests. Two-thirds of Republican caucusgoers are at least actively considering voting for the former president. That’s in addition to the commanding 48% support in pre-caucus polls, said J. Ann Selzer, the pollster behind the influential Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom poll.

“It maybe tells you a little bit about what goes on in the caucus room. This is what’s weird about Iowa,” Selzer told Bloomberg News reporters and editors in Des Moines. Unlike primary elections, where politicking is prohibited in or near the polling place, “things happen in the room.” -Gregory Korte

Iowa Senator Says She Tends “To Gravitate” to Haley’s Policies (9:45 a.m.)

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said she tends “to gravitate” toward the foreign policy positions of Haley, Trump’s first-term UN ambassador, over other candidates in the Republican presidential primary, but stopped short of endorsing her or any of the contenders.

“She has stood in that position where she has to push very aggressively against authoritarian regimes as she did as an ambassador to the United Nations, but she also understands that we need to be working with partners as well,” Ernst said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power” show Monday. “We also have a number of other candidates out there that maybe don’t understand that dynamic.” -Kailey Leinz, Joe Mathieu

Haley, DeSantis Inundate Airwaves With Ads Attacking Each Other (9:20 a.m.)

The neck-and-neck race between Haley and DeSantis in Iowa isn’t just playing out in the polls, it’s also on the airwaves. Haley and her allies spent $4 million on advertisements in the final week before the caucuses, just up from the $3.7 million that DeSantis and his allied super political action committees spent, according to AdImpact.

Instead of using that money to take down frontrunner Trump, they’re aiming fire at each other. One DeSantis group spent $2.2 million criticizing Haley. A super PAC aligned with Haley is running four different ads, all targeting DeSantis. Trump, for his part, has already pivoted to the general election with ads contrasting his economic record with President Joe Biden’s. -Bill Allison

(A previous version corrected the proportion of voters who rank immigration as top issue.)

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