Near the Trump White House

The starting gun has been fired in the race for the Republican nomination. These primaries should come as no surprise, as Donald Trump has a clear advantage. The question in the Iowa caucuses was not whether Trump would win, but by how much. Big unknown? Second place. Although far from the top spot, the poll favorites will be important to gauge the temperature of a court-bound race.

First in the nation

As always, more than 1,600 caucuses convened in Iowa, the first in the nation. As far as Republican voters are concerned, the caucuses are assemblies where nominations are debated. From Iowa, where Republicans prioritize abortion, border security and restrictions on ethanol production, only 40 of the 1,215 delegates are coming out to win the nomination, which will be officially announced at the July Republican convention. But the energy at the start can be decisive, prompting withdrawal and new alliances.

For Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Iowa is a matter of life and death. First, he had several strong endorsements, including Gov. Kim Reynolds, a rising star in the Republican Party; And then because he invested heavily in the state, the Never Back Down super PAC. It was well-positioned to attract votes from evangelicals, a key constituency for Republican candidates.

And then there was Nikki Haley. Haley, for better or worse, is a remnant of the old Republican establishment. After Chris Christie's departure, Haley, who was the US representative to the UN between 2017 and 2018, is the only 'Never Trumpers' to believe. But in a state where Republican platforms are more popular, the candidate played on unfavorable terrain.

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A question of speed

Consuming time and financial resources in the courts, Donald Trump wanted a “resounding victory” at the start of this race. And he succeeded. He received more than 50 percent of the vote; 30 percentage points behind in second place; Victory in every district; He did well among women voters and ended the night with the support of Vivek Ramasamy, which should make it easier for him to win New Hampshire.

Vivek, the youngest and most disruptive of the candidates, finished fourth, and announced at X that he would drop out in favor of Trump: “We didn't reach our goal, we need an America-first patriot in the White House. The people said loud and clear who they want. Tonight I'm campaigning to support Donald Trump.” I'm done, and I'll do everything I can to make him the next president of the United States.

For DeSantis, second place — which he earned by a narrow margin — meant a chance to move on. Third place would have dictated the outcome of a candidacy that appears to have failed to live up to the expectations created about the possibility of a “Trump-less Trumpism.”

Third-place finisher Nikki Haley hopes to pick up some momentum in New Hampshire, where she's polled strongly, and then plays at home in South Carolina, where she's governor. But it was clear Monday night that the candidate wasn't generating much excitement.

A (not) happy campaign

In the week before the caucuses, while his opponents were campaigning, Donald Trump — who faces 91 charges in four separate cases — appeared in court in New York and Washington. In a letter to his supporters, the former president noted, “Twice in the past week, I have been forced to abandon campaigning in court due to false witch hunts.”

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Since Trump will spend his campaign in court, this won't hurt him. In all cases, it is fitting that the US Supreme Court first ruled on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was created after the Civil War to prevent members of the Confederacy from engaging in rebellion or insurrection. , take up non-elected positions in central or state government. Trump has never been charged with sedition or insurrection, but with 'incitement to sedition', and is running for the presidency, that is, elected office. After Maine and Colorado courts decided to remove Trump's name from the ballot based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, the former president appealed to the federal Supreme Court, which was upheld. The case will be decided in February and the ruling will be applied across the country. If Trump is favored, efforts to block his candidacy are likely to decline.

Meanwhile, accusations and counter-accusations are mounting, often inseparable from political positions. Trump's supporters see him as a victim of the Democratic Party's process of turning him into a tool of justice, including among Democratic voters, trying to avoid a potential victory over a visibly worn-out Joe Biden. But for the current president, neutralizing Trump may not be enough. According to a YouGov poll published by CBS, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis will beat Biden by a larger margin than the former president and now candidate.

At the next stop

The next leg of the race begins on the 23rd in New Hampshire, which Nikki Haley described as “the last chance to avoid a rematch between Trump and Biden that nobody wants.” Yes you are right. If Trump wins again in a landslide, he will field his opponents' donors and candidates. DeSantis, who has some ideological differences with Trump and harbors political ambitions, is expected to support the former president.

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Bernie Sanders, in an interview with The Guardian, predicted that if Biden does not respond to the wishes of the working class, he will lose to Trump. And it is very likely that this will be the case. The legal hurdles don't seem to be stopping Trump, who is now benefiting from the dynamics of the primary, which, although everything points to a soon-to-be-decided conclusion, “has shown strong candidates who must join the imperative to make America great again.” On the Democratic side, for now, there are no signs of enthusiasm.

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