Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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On Monday night, Americans cast their first votes in the 2024 presidential election. Throughout Iowa, voters braved brutal winter weather conditions to voice support for their chosen candidate, setting the tone for the primaries to come over the next few months.

In Iowa, former President Donald Trump demonstrated his enduring influence and support among the Republican Party, securing a slim majority of the votes in a crowded candidate field.

Trump placed first with 51% of the vote. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis finished in a distant second with 21.2%, followed by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley with 19.1%.

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy finished fourth with 7.7%. Ramaswamy ended his campaign shortly after the results came out and endorsed Trump. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also ended his campaign.

An analysis in The Hill (Center bias) determined the night "could hardly have gone better" for Trump, adding, "He won by the resounding margin polls had been predicting, with no signs of softening or complacency among his supporters. He appears to have cleared the 50-percent mark, which robs his rivals of the argument that a majority of caucusgoers were against him. Just as importantly, the close result between DeSantis and Haley likely keeps both in the race for some time to come — ensuring the non-Trump vote remains divided."

Trump's margin of victory in Iowa led Dana Milbank (Left bias) to argue in the Washington Post (Lean Left bias) that "there essentially is no Republican other than a MAGA Republican," adding, "Trump’s opponents deserve partial blame for that, for failing to take him on more directly. But some of their candidacies, in tone and substance, offered real alternatives to Trump’s rage-filled nativism. The ominous truth is there just wasn’t appetite in the electorate for a non-Trumpian candidate. In Iowa — and probably elsewhere, alas — they are all MAGA Republicans now."

Echoing this, a columnist in the Los Angeles Times (Lean Left bias) argued Republican voters want "more of the same," writing, "Trump’s hold on the imaginations, not to mention the moral compasses, of his supporters shows little sign of weakening. Entrance polls conducted for the major television networks found that nearly two-thirds of Iowa’s Republican caucus-goers do not believe that Biden won the 2020 election. About the same proportion said they would vote for Trump even if he were a convicted criminal."

A writer in the Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) cast doubt on the overall significance of the Iowa caucus. Outlining instances the state failed to serve as a "barometer" for the national electorate, the writer concludes, "Objectively, the Iowa caucuses are a political tradition that, while interesting and exciting, has little relevance to the actual election. It is little more than a necessary evil. There is little reason for the Iowa caucuses to garner the attention it does. As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results."

In the National Review (Right bias), Dan McLaughlin (Right bias) criticized media outlets covering the Iowa caucus for announcing Trump's victory before the caucuses concluded. Warning of "destabilizing effects" of such media behavior, McLaughlin wrote, "If the national political press had any rules or sense of fairness or decency at all, it would institute real reforms to prevent this from happening again. Don’t hold your breath. Next time, it could happen in a situation that matters a lot more than the race for one or two delegates and some bragging rights."

Next up in the Republican primary race is New Hampshire on January 23.

More from AllSides

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More from the Right

What did Iowa's evangelicals do? (And why did they do it?)
Fox News (opinion)

"If the world continues to tumble into intense conflict, of whom will America’s enemies be more wary: Trump or Biden? Some may answer 'Ron DeSantis' or 'Nikki Haley' and almost certainly those two —just like Trump— will give America’s foes much more pause than the Appeasement Caucus around the infirm president. But Trump vs. Biden in a dangerous world with barbarians committing massacres? That’s not going to be close."

More from the Center

Ron DeSantis accuses media of interfering in Iowa Caucuses for declaring Trump victory early
Des Moines Register

"The DeSantis campaign claimed the media was engaging in election interference, since not all caucuses had finished. '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,' communications director Andrew Romeo said. 'The media is in the tank for Trump and this is the most egregious example yet.' When DeSantis took the stage Monday night, he said "the media was against us," and the crowd booed in agreement."

More from the Left

GOP hopefuls spend big in Iowa

"In the two weeks leading up to the caucuses, groups supporting former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley have spent $7.8 million on ads, followed by ads for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ($6.1 million), pro-Trump ads ($3.5 million) and ads supporting businessman Vivek Ramaswamy ($127,000) ... The advertising dollars spent on U.S. elections and advocacy issues will grow to a record $16 billion this year, up 31.2% compared to the last presidential election in 2020."

See more big stories from the past week.