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Champaign Central Chronicle

Champaign Central Chronicle

What Does Trump’s Large Win in the Iowa Caucus Mean for the Rest of the Election?


For the 2024 election, the Republican Iowa Caucus voting occurred on January 15th. With 99% of the results tallied, Donald Trump had 51% of the vote, which according to CBS “is the largest margin of victory in a competitive GOP race in Iowa history.” So, what do these results mean for the rest of the election?
Before discussing results it’s important to understand what the Iowa Caucus is. A caucus is a long-standing tradition where voters gather to discuss and select candidates for their registered party. It’s the first real contest between candidates and usually helps predict how they will perform in the primaries. This caucus was held in Iowa, thus giving it the name of the Iowa Caucus.
Trump’s victory in the caucus is gaining so much attention not only because he is winning by such a large percentage, but also because he is being charged with many felonies. The Washington Post reported that “Trump faces a total of 91 charges across four criminal cases. They include 44 federal charges and 47 state charges…”
“With his crimes going against democracy, why should he be trusted to represent it?” says senior Sarah Mckendall. All of his charges are ones that either disrupt democracy or break laws that our government swears to stop. As a new voter, it concerns Mckendall that someone with these charges could represent her in the future.
So the real question for many voters with the same worries is does this mean that Trump is guaranteed to win the republican primaries? No, not necessarily.
Social Studies Teacher, Katie Flugge, pointed out that “there are two million registered voters, about 700,000 are registered republicans, and in the Iowa caucus a little over a hundred thousand actually showed up.” That means that only 1/20 of the voting population and about 1/7 of the registered Republicans truly took part in the caucus. Trump won only half of these votes. There is no way of knowing if all of the people not included will follow the same pattern.
Another problem that Flugge brought to light was that the Iowa Caucus “excludes people who may have mobility issues.” With many Americans having issues with mobility due to injury, medication, or general weakness it is important to make sure they are represented as well. The Iowa Caucus took place in a week of harsh winter weather, which makes the ability for those who have mobility issues very small.
Government teacher Richard Morgan believes that the Iowa caucus does do a good job predicting national electoral outcomes but he also highlighted that “historically, there have been reports of errors, irregularities, and delayed releases of results.” In the 2020 election, the want to adapt to the use of technology caused the democratic caucus results to come many days later than expected. Which in turn hurts the candidates’ campaigns.
The democratic party in 2023 replaced the Iowa caucus as the first caucus for them with South Carolina. As a state with a much more diverse population, it will give them a much better understanding of the voters’ reaction to each candidate. According to the US Census Iowa has a 89.8% white population. With the rest of the U.S. having a smaller percentage of white population Iowa doesn’t seem to be the best option to represent all voters.
The Iowa Caucus is just the start of the series of caucus wins continued through New Hampshire that will add momentum for the former president’s campaign and his supporters. However, don’t assume that this guarantees he will win. What actually determines that is the votes cast on November 5th. So everyone who can should vote.

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