DeSantis Beats Haley For Second in Iowa – ‘We’ve Got Our Ticket Punched!’
Governor Ron DeSantis will remain in the 2024 Republican primary after outperforming expectations and clinching a second-place win in Iowa. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley had long been favored by polls as the runner-up to Donald Trump, but her campaign’s hopes were dashed Monday night.
“I can tell you, because of your support, in spite of all of that that they threw at us, everyone against us — we’ve got our ticket punched out of Iowa,” DeSantis announced to his supporters, who responded with cheers of “Ron! Ron! Ron!”
“We’ve got hard-working people, God-fearing people, patriotic people. You just don’t see it every day because of all the nonsense it gets spewed out there by the media, by social media, all this other stuff.” He continued, “People want to have hope for this country’s future, and that’s what we represent.”
Since mid-December, pollsters began predicting a second-place win for Haley as both candidates vied to be the alternative to Trump. The day before the caucuses, RealClearPolitics’ polling average showed Haley edging out DeSantis by three points. In the end, DeSantis outperformed the average by more than six points, beating Haley by 21 to 19 percent of the vote, but still trailing Trump at 51 percent.
DeSantis’ performance comes despite having been hit by more than $47.6 million in total attack ad spending throughout the primary, according to data compiled by consultant Rob Pyers. The Florida Governor, by far has been the largest target of negative expenditures–more than all other Republican candidates combined. Haley and Trump, by comparison, had been targeted by just over $23.6 million and $22.5 million, respectively.
“They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us. They spent almost $50 million attacking us. No one’s faced that much all the way just through Iowa,” DeSantis told his supporters.
“They, the media, was against us. They were writing our obituary months ago. They even called the election before people got a chance to vote,” the governor began his remarks. “But they were just so excited about the fact that they were predicting that we wouldn’t be able to get our ticket punched here out of Iowa.”
“I am not going to make any excuses, and I guarantee you this: I will not let you down.”
Less than two percent of votes had been reported when news outlets began calling the Iowa Caucus for Donald Trump. A statement from DeSantis communications director Andrew Romeo called the move “absolutely outrageous.”
“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.”
“They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us,” @RonDeSantis says as supporters chant “Ron! Ron! Ron!”
They spent almost $50 million attacking us.
The media was against us — they were writing our obituary months ago.
They even called the election before people even got a… pic.twitter.com/KZskApPg8C
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) January 16, 2024
With roughly one percent of the vote still to be counted, Trump is projected to net 20 delegates, DeSantis nine delegates, Haley eight delegates, and Vivek Ramaswamy three, according to NBC News.
Trump notably won every county in Iowa except for Johnson County, which he lost to Haley by a single vote.
Shortly after the caucuses, Ramaswamy announced that he was suspending his campaign and endorsing Trump for President.
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