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The First Big Step in the 2024 Election Takes Place Next Week

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PHOTO: People cheer as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally, Jan. 6, 2024, in Clinton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Iowa voters will kick off the 2024 election year with their first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus next week. The contest is largely viewed as a momentum builder and the GOP candidates are trying to grab every last vote.

President Trump has had a dominant lead in polling, but he’s not taking any chances. He encouraged his supporters to vote during a series of rallies over the weekend.

“So if you want to save America from crooked Joe Biden, get every patriot you know, make sure they’re registered to vote, and get them out to vote at 7 p.m. January 15th,” he told a crowd in Mason City.

Some polls have shown Trump up by 30 points as the candidates head into the caucus vote. 

Iowans set the pace each presidential election cycle. The results can have the ability to sink or propel a campaign. 

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continued his march across the state over the weekend, too, ramping up direct attacks against the front-runner.

“Broken promises from Donald Trump. Particularly this birthright citizenship issue that was asked about me. He promised to do that in 2016; sign an executive order, write your John Hancock on an order, never did it in 4 years,” he said during an event outside of Des Moines. 

DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley are locked in a tight race for second. Haley is casting doubt on Trump’s electability.

“We’re getting there, we’re gaining on him. I think you can tell. Trump’s starting to throw temper tantrums, he’s spending millions of dollars in ads on TV against us. Every bit of it is a lie, but if you gotta lie to win, you don’t deserve to win. We’re gonna do it the right way, we’re gonna keep talking about where we need to go and it’s time for a new generational leader,” she told CBN at one of her events on the trail. 

While both DeSantis and Haley try to paint themselves as the Trump alternative, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy fully embraces a “Trump 2.0” approach.

He tells voters around the state that he has the ability to finish the MAGA agenda Trump started.

“They want it to be a two-horse race between Trump and some other puppet they can control, whether that’s Gavin Newsom, Michelle Obama, or Nikki Haley. Looks like it’s Nikki Haley and that’s a trap we can’t fall into. And so you have the future of America First standing right here,” Ramaswamy told CBN after one of his Iowa events. 

Voters around the Hawkeye State are usually all ears, and we’re not talking about Iowa corn. Many we encountered are still undecided as we get into the home stretch.

Ron Cline is backing Trump while also liking what he hears from Ramaswamy. 

“I find Vivek a very interesting, intelligent, articulate candidate. He’s somebody, in the absence of Trump, that I’d vote for,” Cline said. 

Outside of a dueling Haley/DeSantis town hall event, Joseph Howe is looking at Haley as a Trump alternative.

“The chaos that comes with President Trump. I believe it’s very important to preserve our Republic and that’s why I’m endorsing Haley,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Bill Siefkas is all-in on DeSantis and not the former president. 

“You look at all the issues he’s got going on right now, even if he does get elected, he’s going to be distracted for his first year in office fighting all these legal battles. How do you run a country fighting legal battles,” Siefkas said. 

While the candidates trailing Trump try to differentiate themselves, they’re all telling voters the same thing: polls won’t decide the Iowa caucus, they will.  



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