Looking Beyond Iowa

Ryan Heshmati

January 19, 2024

With the Iowa Caucuses now over and New Hampshire’s primary on January 23, the Republican race is ramping up. Iowa saw Trump hold 51%, well ahead of DeSantis’ 21.2% and Haley’s 19.1%, according to the New York Times. Most notably, after placing a distant fourth, Vivek Ramaswamy suspended his campaign and endorsed Former President Trump. It seems, however, that all three remaining major candidates have come out of Iowa declaring victory.

Ramaswamy, who conceded that he did not see a possibility of a positive outcome from continuing his run after Iowa, has come forward strongly advocating for the Trump campaign, even going so far as to say, while with Trump onstage at a campaign event, that the 2024 election constitutes a “1776 moment.”


Haley, in a speech after the race was decided, despite coming in third, proclaimed that the Iowa results were clear evidence that the primary was now a “two person race.” While her numbers in Iowa do not support such an assertion, perhaps her performance elsewhere will. The Hill notes a poll from the American Research Group that pegs both Trump and Haley at 40% in New Hampshire. As of January 18, the former president had continued to refuse to debate Haley and DeSantis. According to a late December piece by Jill Colvin of the Associated Press, however, Trump indicated “… he is open to debating a single Republican rival if a serious challenger emerges after the New Hampshire primary.”

DeSantis, despite a stronger performance than Haley in Iowa, has a great deal to worry about. Reuters reports that their sources indicate the Florida Governor “…is now in deep trouble and he risks funding problems going forward after failing to deliver a breakthrough performance in Iowa.” Having spent nearly $1,500 per vote in Iowa, according to Business Insider, DeSantis’ spending is likely not sustainable. Even more problematically, he is performing so poorly in New Hampshire polls (ABC News’ 538 put him at 5.2% on January 18) that his campaign decided to transition their efforts away from the state and towards the next one: South Carolina, Haley’s home state where she served as Governor. 

With Ramaswamy’s endorsement, Trump’s already strong numbers look poised to solidify further. On the other hand, Trump is distracted by a litany of legal troubles, particularly the Supreme Court’s looming decision on his eligibility, although they have not heard arguments on the issue yet. Until the Court issues its decision, enough remains uncertain to leave plausible paths to the nomination for both DeSantis and Haley. Only time will tell whether or not they materialize, however.