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Trump Wins Big

January 19, 2024

In the Iowa Republican Caucus, the first vote in the 2024 presidential campaign, former President Donald Trump won in a history-making landslide. Trump received an absolute majority of the vote, beating his closest opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, by almost 30 points. The previous record margin for a Republican in a contested primary was 12.8% by Kansas Senator Bob Dole in 1996.

Trump won 98 of 99 counties, losing the 99th county by a single vote.

The final results, with 1,215 delegates needed for the nomination:

  • Trump 56,260 votes (51%), 20 delegates.

  • Ron DeSantis, 23,420 votes (21.2%), 9 delegates.

  • Nikki Haley, 21,085 (19.1%), 8 delegates.

  • Vivek Ramaswamy, 8,449 (7.7%), 3 delegates.

…followed by Ryan Binkley, 774 votes (0.7%), Asa Hutchinson (191), 0.2%, and Chris Christie, 35 votes (0.03%).

Christie had withdrawn before the vote. Ramaswamy and Hutchinson suspended their campaigns after results came in, with Ramaswamy endorsing Trump and traveling to New Hampshire to speak at a rally with the former president.

More than 110,000 people voted, despite below-zero temperatures with wind-chill factors in the minus-30s. The high temperature on Monday in Des Moines was 15 degrees colder than the previous coldest Caucus Day. Cold temperatures probably helped Trump and, to a lesser extent, DeSantis. They both exceeded their results in the final pre-Caucus poll by the Des Moines Register, which had put Trump at 48%, Haley at 20%, and DeSantis at 16%. But 88% of Trump’s supporters said they were very or extremely enthusiastic to support their candidate, compared to 69% of DeSantis supporters and only 39% of Haley’s supporters (who, it’s fair to say, mainly just disliked Trump).

Leftwing commentators blamed Trump’s showing on his support among “white” evangelicals. The leftwing publication Truthout noted: “Iowa is already a spectacularly nonrepresentative state in comparison to the U.S. as a whole. Nearly 90 percent of Iowans are white, and the state is also more evangelical (28 percent of the state identify as such), more rural and more culturally conservative than are most American states. . . .

One would have to put in a vast amount of intellectual energy to design a more ludicrous way of winnowing the early presidential field. . . . 55 percent [of caucus voters] were born-again Christians.” In the old days, when Iowans often elected liberal Democrats such as Senator Tom Harkin, the state’s supposed non-representativeness did not get much attention.

But an AP survey of caucus-goers had a startling finding: Trump didn’t win just among conservatives; he won among voters who described themselves as moderates. In fact, if only moderates had voted in the election, Trump would still have won a record landslide (44% to 31% for Haley, 8% for Ramaswamy, and 7% for DeSantis).

On Caucus Night, Haley, who finished third, declared that, “When you look at how we're doing in New Hampshire, in South Carolina, and beyond, I can safely say tonight Iowa made this Republican primary a two-person race.” The statement was widely ridiculed, likened to Bill Clinton’s claim of virtual victory in the 1992 New Hampshire primary. (Clinton lost by eight and a half points, but as the returns came in, he declared, “I think we know enough to say with some certainty that, tonight, New Hampshire has made Bill Clinton the Comeback Kid.”

That night in 1992 and over the days that followed, Clinton, with the help of the news media, created the impression that he had more-or-less won.) Haley’s “two-person race” claim fit her post-Iowa strategy of ignoring DeSantis and presenting herself as the sole GOP alternative to Trump. She declared that she would debate only Trump or Biden, effectively canceling upcoming debates with DeSantis.

Haley’s campaign SuperPAC was financed in part by at least a quarter-million dollars from Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn and a major Democratic donor. Hoffman also funded E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit against Trump, alleging that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in 1995 or 1996. (Trump denied the charge. A civil jury in New York found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation against Carroll, rejecting her rape claim. Since the verdict, the news media have frequently reported falsely that the jury found that Carroll had told the truth and that Trump was found liable for rape.)

Haley recently sought the support of Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the asset management firm that is the leading advocate for extremist ESG (“environmental, social, and governance”) policies for Big Business.

For his part, DeSantis, after the caucus, left Iowa and went straight to South Carolina, ignoring New Hampshire where he has little chance, challenging Haley in her home state.

• 2024 ODDS: As of Wednesday night, Maxim Lott and John Stossel’s website “Election Betting Odds” put Trump’s odds of winning the Republican nomination at 86.5% (up from 82.3% before the Iowa vote) and of winning the presidency at 43.8%. Biden had a 78.1% chance for his party’s nomination and a 34.7% chance to win the general election. The Iowa vote apparently helped DeSantis, but not much: His odds of winning the nomination went from 2% to 2.2%. Meanwhile, Haley’s chances went from 11.3% to 9.4%.

In next Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, Trump’s currently the favorite, at almost 7-to-1, but that could change quickly. His current margin in New Hampshire polling is about 15 points, while one outlier poll has the race tied. Haley has the support of Governor Chris Sununu, and is buoyed by the fact that independents can vote in the Republican primary. Nationally, Trump’s lead is almost 50 points. If he wins big in New Hampshire, the race is effectively over.

If not, Haley might be able to stretch the race out until February 24 in her home state of South Carolina, where she would probably lose. If, somehow, the race continued to Super Tuesday, March 5, Trump would still have a huge advantage, because the primary and caucus calendar from that point forward strongly favors him. He could theoretically be 100 delegates behind at that point, and still win.

The bottom line: Barring a catastrophic event, Trump will be the Republican nominee.

Looking at the other odds for 2024, my (Dr. Allen’s) current analysis is that conservatives have a 46.2% chance of winning the White House this year, RINOs a 5.3% chance, leftists a 45.6% chance, and mainstream Democrats a 2.9% chance, with Democrats currently ahead in the race for the House of Representatives and Republicans ahead in the race for the Senate.

• TRUMP WINS CONSERVATIVE PRIMARY: Reflecting his overwhelming support among conservatives, Donald Trump was the landslide winner in the first Conservative Online Presidential Primary, sponsored by The Conservative Caucus.

The unofficial online primary was conducted over three months, from October to December. It was intended as a way for conservatives nationwide to express their views before the first official votes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

To give online voters a chance to consider all the candidates and prospective candidates, the primary began with 33 men and women who ran in the 2024 election, publicly considered running, or were mentioned as possible contenders. The list included Democrats, independents, Republicans, and others. One by one, lower-rated candidates were eliminated by the voters, in the manner of competitions such as “Survivor” and “American Idol.”

The Top 10 finalists:

10. Former California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder

  9. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

  8. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

  7. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin

  6. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem

  5. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

  4. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina

  3. Vivek Ramaswamy

  2. DeSantis

   …and the winner: Trump.

The Top 10 included two independents who were Democrats until recently – Gabbard, who is a former Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Kennedy. Given that the media depict conservatives as sexist and racist, it’s interesting that the Top 10 list included three women, as well as five people (Elder, Gabbard, Haley, Scott, Ramaswamy) whom the media classify as “persons of color.”

• VOTE-FRAUD WATCH: Many forms of vote fraud are done out in the open and technically legal. Mass absentee voting, which is considered a violation of human rights and is banned in all major democracies… early voting, which ensures that many people cast their ballots without all the information that voters get during campaigns… and ranked-choice voting, which confuses voters, lacks transparency, reduces confidence in the honesty of elections, and discriminates against people who aren’t part of political “machines.”

Here's another: voting by noncitizens. Paul Jacob, a conservative initiative-and-referendum expert, reports: “Last month, Boston’s city council passed a measure granting voting rights to non-citizens residing in the city. Boston joins New York City; San Francisco and Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; three cities in Vermont and 11 more cities in Maryland in providing the franchise to citizens of foreign nations.

The laws in San Francisco, Oakland, and our nation’s capital are clear in providing suffrage even to those in the country illegally. Washington’s law allows even the Chinese and Russian ambassadors to the United States to legally cast a ballot for mayor, city council and ballot measures deciding city policies.

“But voters can and are striking back,” Jacob notes. “In recent years, citizens in six states – Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio – have passed Citizen Only Voting Amendments (COVA) to their state constitutions clarifying that non-citizens cannot vote in our elections. Already, Americans for Citizen Voting ( has succeeded in placing measures on the 2024 ballot in Iowa and Wisconsin. The group is active in a dozen more states.”

Another factor that readers should keep in mind is that, when it comes to allotting government funds and electoral representation, noncitizens generally count the same as citizens. Even when they can’t vote, they affect how money and power are divided.

• IF YOU HAVE TO ASK, YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT: The federal debt has hit $405,000 for the average family of four. Currently, the U.S., with 4.23% of the world’s population, represents more than 34% of the world’s total government debt. And that U.S. debt figure doesn’t even include unfunded liabilities – promises of future spending, such as Social Security and Medicare, for which the government has failed to put resources aside. Unfunded liabilities would add perhaps another $400,000 in obligations per family of four. Don’t worry, though. You can be reassured by the fact that no government has ever defaulted on its debt… until the day it did.

• CONSERVATIVE CALENDAR: The Conservative Caucus is putting together a master calendar of conservative events – events at the national, state, or regional level, or otherwise of interest to a large number of conservatives. Send us your items to be listed!

• TIPS? If you have news tips, send them to Is there anything about the current political scene that puzzles you? Ask us! Please include the word “Newsletter” as part of the subject line.

• ADVERTISEMENT: Starting a chapter of The Conservative Caucus is easy! All it takes is at least four people in your area (you and three or more others) who send us contact information and promise to do something once a month to help the conservative cause. “Doing something” can be as simple as attending a school board or city council meeting, writing a letter to the editor, hosting a book club, or getting together to eat pizza and talk politics. If you’d like to start a chapter, let us know!

• THIS IS OUR FIRST ISSUE. The Conservative Caucus Goldwater-Allen Report will be published once every two weeks – that is, “fortnightly,” a word I learned when I was a 12-year-old reader of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review. We hope you find it entertaining and informative.

In case you’re wondering who we are, here are biographical sketches of our publisher and editor. Together, we have more than a century of experience in politics.

PUBLISHER: Barry M. Goldwater Jr. is Honorary Chairman of The Conservative Caucus.

He served 14 years as a member of the U.S. Congress, representing a district in California, and is the son of the late Senator Barry Goldwater Sr., who was the first presidential candidate of the modern conservative movement.

Goldwater Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps as a conservative leader. In Congress, he co-authored the Privacy Act of 1974, one of the most important pieces of legislation protecting Americans’ privacy rights. He blocked the federal government from creating movies in-house, which would have taken jobs from the U.S. motion picture industry. On the Energy Research and Development Committee, he promoted energy independence in the wake of the OPEC embargo. He also served on the Space and Aviation Committee, which authorized and oversaw the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. An expert on aviation and transportation technology, he is a pilot with over 3,000 hours of flight time.

He campaigned for Ronald Reagan, a family friend whose emergence as a political figure came during the Goldwater for President campaign, and for other conservative candidates such as Ron Paul. He has won the Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, an award from the President’s Commission on Employment of the Handicapped, and the Conscience of the Congress Award of the American Conservative Union (the group behind CPAC).

Goldwater is a board member of the Goldwater Institute, a leading conservative think tank, which has an arm that sues government entities when they violate the Constitution and statutory law. He is also a member of the board of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, one of the most prestigious national undergraduate scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics; it is awarded to some 400 students per year.

EDITOR/WRITER: Dr. Steven J. Allen is Vice Chairman of The Conservative Caucus.

Dr. Allen has been writing professionally about the U.S. government for 21% of the time there’s been a U.S. government. He began working as a political writer when he was 16. By his 21st birthday, he had hung out with George W. Bush, had interviewed Joe Biden, and had had lunch with Ronald Reagan. As a journalist, he has investigated political corruption – including bribery, election fraud, and censorship – for half a century.

He has been a radio news director, newspaper reporter, and magazine editor, and served as press secretary for U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton. He was a staffer in the 1976 and 1980 Reagan campaigns, a Reagan delegate in 1976, 1980, and 1984, and congressional district co-chairman for Jack Kemp for President. He was the senior researcher for the Newt Gingrich for President campaign, and editor of the Tea Party movement’s magazine. In the 2016 campaign, he was one of 174 academics in the country who endorsed Donald Trump.

Working with famed conservative activist Richard Viguerie in the 1980s, he developed the concept of populist conservatism. Dr. Allen is an expert on biological warfare and pandemics who studied under the former top scientist of the Soviet biological weapons program.

He grew up on a chicken farm in the Appalachian foothills and was the first person in his family to go to college. He earned a master’s degree in political science at age 19, a JD law degree and a science PhD (Biodefense), and he is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Capital Research Center, a Washington, DC think tank.

Writing in 1984, Dr. Allen predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union – a view that, at the time, was considered heretical. He was the first journalist to defend Donald Trump in the Russia hoax and the first to criticize Al Gore for his “creating the Internet” claim. He received the Director’s Coin for service to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and is a former Membership Officer of Metropolitan Washington Mensa.

He has been called a “digital revolutionary” (National Journal) and “the Tea Party’s editor in chief” (The Daily Beast), and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, The Washington Times, The Washington Examiner, The Hill, the Daily Caller, and American Greatness magazine.


This newsletter is sponsored by THE CONSERVATIVE CAUCUS, America’s grassroots conservative organization, founded 1974. PETER J. THOMAS, Chairman. To join, donate, or learn more, go to



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