Donald Trump vows to 'take back' US from Biden after landslide victory in Iowa

16 January 2024, 06:06 | Updated: 16 January 2024, 08:32

Donald Trump appears at a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa
Donald Trump appears at a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Donald Trump has won the Republican party's Iowa caucuses, with Ron DeSantis projected to beat Nikki Haley in second place.

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Trump's landslide victory was called within just 30 minutes as supporters endured freezing temperatures to vote.

The former president's success comes despite him facing several legal challenges which could complicate his bid to return to the White House.

It is just the first stage of him likely being picked as Republican candidate for November's election.

Trump will face a months-long effort to secure the nomination for a third consecutive time.

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida governor Ron DeSantis are Trump's most prominent primary rivals.

They both went head-to-head for a second-place finish in Iowa in a bid to get some momentum heading into future races.

Read more: Judge in Donald Trump fraud trial faces bomb threat at home, as former president blasts 'terrible witch hunt'

Read more: Donald Trump barred from running for president in Colorado over 'insurrection' as legal team vows to fight court ruling

Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis. Picture: Alamy

Celebrating his victory, Trump paid tribute to all of his children, including his youngest son, Barron, who was "watching on TV".

He also paid tribute to his late mother-in-law who died last week, saying she was "looking down" from heaven and would be "proud".

Looking forward to the election, he said the "big night is going to be in November when we take back our country".

The 77-year-old went on to congratulate Haley and DeSantis, saying they had a "good time together".

"I also want to congratulate Vivek because he did one hell of a job. He came from zero… that’s an amazing job," Trump said.

Vivek Ramaswamy previously announced that he would be suspending his campaign.

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley. Picture: Alamy

Iowa is an uneven predictor of who will ultimately lead Republicans into the general election.

George W Bush's 2000 victory was the last time a Republican candidate won in Iowa and went on to become the party's standard-bearer.

Trump has spent much of the past year crafting a more professional organisation in Iowa than his efforts in 2016, when Texas senator Ted Cruz carried the caucuses.

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