Iowa puts pressure on Trump’s rivals to show they can compete

Former President Donald Trump’s win in Iowa doesn’t end the 2024 Republican presidential race, but it does raise questions about whether it will ever truly begin.

Trump won an absolute majority of the vote and finished first by about 30 points. He appears to have come within one vote of sweeping all 99 counties.

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This was the biggest margin of victory ever in a competitive Iowa caucus, far exceeding Bob Dole’s 13 points in 1988. George W. Bush won by 10.5 in 2000. It came despite the weather, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA), organized evangelical leaders, the winnowing of the Republican field, and fears complacency would set in among Trump supporters.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) finished a distant second, blunting the recent momentum enjoyed by third-place former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

This will be difficult for Trump’s rivals to spin as
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