Trump wins Iowa caucuses: US media projections

(Update 1: adds Trump win, details, changes head and lede)

Des Moines, US, Jan 15 (EFE).- Former United States president Donald Trump won the Iowa Republican caucuses on Monday, according to US media projections.

The first official event on the US electoral calendar began Monday at 7 pm local time (01:00 GMT Tuesday) with thousands of citizens heading out in freezing temperatures to vote for their favored Republican to run for president.

Hundreds of voting centers were opened in the first litmus test for Trump, who went in as big favorite and aims to again run against President Joe Biden in November.

The projections, from news outlets such as AP, CNN, Fox News and NBC, came after only a few hundred votes were counted, so Trump’s lead at the start of the Republican primaries for the White House was expected to be wide.

The former leader appeared at a caucus in Iowa where he repeated his anti-immigrant stance, which was received with applause.

In addition to Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the former US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, were also running, as well as businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

What is really being decided in Iowa is how much distance Trump will have over the second runner-up and who that will be.

Through his social network, Trump earlier slammed his closest party rivals.

“Nikki Haley can never win in the General Election because she doesn’t have [the support of] MAGA [his Make America Great Again movement], and never will! Ron DeSanctimonious, at least, is MAGA-Lite,” he said.

Although proportionally Iowa has a minimal decision share (1.6 percent), Monday’s caucuses are one of the most important events in the US presidential race, a head-to-head fight between candidates.

All interested citizens can participate in the caucuses, meeting at the voting center of their corresponding district to discuss aloud and vote on a piece of paper who they want to be the candidate of their party.

Unlike a primary elections, caucuses are not organized by the state but by the parties themselves, and carried out by volunteers.

While primaries are similar to an election day, with citizens able to vote over hours, caucuses are held in each state precinct at a specific time, day and place, such as a school or community center.

They are akin to neighborhood meetings with registered party voters discussing candidates and issues, and some speak on behalf of the candidates.

Once everyone has spoken, voters write by hand the name of their chosen candidate on a slip of paper and give it to the caucus chair who tallies the votes and enters them into a state party system, so in the next few hours the winner of the first big event of the electoral race will be announced.

Iowa has 40 delegates of the 2,469 that are distributed among the 50 states (1.6 percent), which are the ones who end up choosing the candidate at the national party convention, which in the case of the Republicans will take place in July.

In Iowa, candidates receive a number of delegates proportional to the percentage of votes they get Monday night. EFE


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