Ramaswamy drops out of the race
Vivek Ramaswamy, the Ohio businessman and entrepreneur, took to the stage in Iowa and announced he’s dropping out of the race.
“As of this moment, we are going to suspend this presidential campaign,” Ramaswamy told his supporters and reporters.
Ramaswamy said he’s offered Trump his full endorsement.
Trump thanks supporters and congratulates DeSantis, Haley and Ramaswamy
As Trump had already secured a large portion of the vote and Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis locked in a battle for second place, Trump gave a speech thanking supporters and his family.
He thanked the U.S. senators and representatives who flew to Iowa to be there before congratulating his opponents.
“I want to congratulate Ron and Nikki for having a good time together, we’re all having a good time together,” Trump said, adding they both did “very well.”
Trump also said Ramaswamy did a “hell of a job.”
Trump also thanked his family, including the “former and maybe future” first lady, Melania Trump. He took a moment to remember Melania’s mother, Amalija Knavs, who died last week.
“You are special, one of the most special people I’ve ever known,” Trump said of his late mother-in-law.
Trump went on to say what he hopes to accomplish with a potential second term. The former president said he doesn’t want to be “overly rough” on President Biden, but said the president is “destroying our country.”
Trump on track to have largest margin of victory in Iowa history
Trump is so far leading with over 50% of the vote, compared to DeSantis’ 21% and Nikki Haley’s 19% (with 83% of the results reported). The former president may be on track to win the caucuses with the largest margin of victory in Iowa’s history, CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett noted.
Bob Dole holds the record, beating Pat Robertson by 13 points in 1988. Dole bowed out of the race in March of that year, and George H.W. Bush became the Republican nominee.
Some Democrats appeared to switch parties to Republican so they can caucus
Caucusgoers must be registered Republicans in order to participate, but they are able to switch parties at their precinct. At Beaver Creek Elementary School in Johnston, Iowa, CBS Mornings anchor Tony Dokoupil said the precinct ran out of forms because there were so many Democrats and other non-Republicans registering to change parties to Republican. The precinct delayed the start to obtain more forms so everyone who wanted to switch parties and participate could be processed.
How Iowa has historically impacted presidential campaigns
The Iowa caucuses can launch campaigns onto the nomination or bury them beneath the snowdrifts. CBS News chief political analyst John Dickerson explains.
What did Iowa caucusgoers think about the issue of abortion?
Most Iowa Republican caucusgoers said they favor a nationwide ban on all or most abortions and those voters went for Trump.
Haley, who has attempted to moderate her message on abortion ran close behind Trump among those voters who oppose a national ban.
Abortion may play differently in a state like New Hampshire where recent CBS News polling shows 57% of GOP primary voters think abortion should be legal or in all or most cases.
— Jennifer De Pinto and Fred Backus
Haley tells Iowa caucusgoers “you don’t defeat Democrat chaos with Republican chaos.”
Nikki Haley told caucusgoers in Des Moines, Iowa, that they can elect a “conservative new generational leader,” but that it would take courage from voters to focus on the prize of defeating President Biden.
“If you want to move forward with no chaos,” she said. “If you want to move forward with no more vendettas. If you want to move forward with a sense of hope … join us in this caucus. I ask for your vote, and my promise to you is I will make sure every day I focus on what it takes to make you proud.”
Haley and Ron DeSantis are currently in a battle for second place at the Iowa caucuses. CBS News projected former Trump would win Monday night.
Haley also touted her recent head-to-head poll numbers against Mr. Biden.
“In every one of those head-to-head polls against Biden, I defeat Biden by double digits,” she said. “Even 17 points in The Wall Street Journal poll. Do you know what that means? That’s bigger than the presidency. That’s governorships, that’s House, that’s Senate, that’s school boards, but more than that, you win with a double-digit win over Biden going into D.C.”
Biden fundraises off of projected Trump win in Iowa
President Biden’s campaign wasted little time before fundraising off of Trump’s projected win in Iowa Monday night, sending out a pitch to supporters to “protect all of the progress” his administration has made by helping to keep Mr. Biden in the White House for four more years.
“The Iowa results are in, and it’s clear: Donald Trump is the official frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination,” the email said.
With the results, the president noted that “we need to work even harder now.”
“If Donald Trump is our opponent, we can expect vile attacks, endless lies, and massive spending,” he said.
CBS entrance polls: Haley and DeSantis in a battle for second place
Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis are in a battle for second place, and who voters chose between the two candidates has to do with the type candidate they want.
The top quality sought was by far someone who shares their values — a group of voters that Trump won — but who DeSantis has also made significant inroads against.
Far fewer wanted someone who “had the right temperament,” but among those for whom it was most important, Haley was the clear favorite.
And while beating Biden in November wasn’t at the top of the list either, voters who said it was most important were split between Haley and Trump.
Both Haley and DeSantis are in a close fight for those who took their time to decide. They are split among voters who decided in the last few days.
— Jennifer De Pinto and Fred Backus
CBS News entrance polls: How Trump won
Trump won the Iowa Republican caucuses with strong support from White Evangelicals and very conservative voters— key voting blocs in these caucuses and groups he lost in 2016 when voters were less convinced of his conservative credentials.
Trump’s support was widespread: he won men, women, older voters and younger voters, and he improved on his 2016 performance with all of these groups.
Most Iowa caucusgoers largely dismissed Trump’s legal woes, with most saying he would still be fit for the presidency even if he were convicted of a crime.
The issue of immigration helped boost Trump — he overwhelmingly won those who picked it as their top issue.
— Jennifer De Pinto and Fred Backus
Larry Hogan says he’s not counting Nikki Haley out of race after Trump projected to win Iowa
Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who endorsed Nikki Haley earlier this week, said he’s not “counting her out” of the race moments after Trump was projected to win the Iowa caucuses.
“I’m not saying it’s an easy climb, but I think she’s the only one with a chance,” Hogan told CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett.
While Hogan acknowledged that “Trump and the MAGA wing control the apparatus,” he said if Haley comes out of Iowa overperforming and pulls off a win in New Hampshire next week, she’d head into her home state of South Carolina with “a lot of momentum.”
“It’s a tough, tough thing, but I’m not counting her out,” Hogan said.
Trump speaks as results come in, showing him with comfortable edge
As precinct results began to trickle in showing Trump with a comfortable edge, he spoke briefly to Iowans.
He listed a number of things he thinks were better under his presidency than under Mr. Biden’s presidency.
“We didn’t have China threatening to take Taiwan; we didn’t have ships being blown up all over the Middle East like happened today,” he said, adding, “and everybody was doing much better in this room.”
“I was better for the farmers, they say, than any president in the history of our country,” Trump said, adding, “I stood up for ethanol like nobody has ever stood up for it.”
“But we had a country like we’ve never had,” Trump claimed.
The former president also boasted about how well he is doing in the polls against Mr. Biden, and claimed the current president is destroying the country.
CBS News entrance poll tell us half of caucusgoers consider themselves part of the MAGA movement
Early entrance polls tell us half of caucusgoers consider themselves part of the MAGA movement.
And a big majority of Iowa Republican caucusgoers do not believe President Biden was elected legitimately in 2020.
And roughly nine in 10 of those who say they are backing Trump today don’t think Mr. Biden won in 2020.
— Jennifer De Pinto and Fred Backus
CBS News entrance poll results: Immigration is the biggest issue
Immigration is what’s most motivating Iowa Republicans to the caucuses today, based on early interviews conducted with voters heading into the Iowa caucuses.
Throughout the campaign, immigration and the economy have been top concerns for Republicans in Iowa as well as nationwide.
Beyond issues, what are Iowa Republican voters most looking for in a candidate?
Someone who shares my values is a candidate quality they were most looking for.
For Iowa GOP caucus goers, the most important candidate quality they want is someone who shares their values, followed by someone who would “fight’s for people like me.”
Most Iowa Republican voters are dismissing his legal woes. Six in 10 say if Trump was convicted of a crime he would still be fit to be president.
— Jennifer De Pinto and Fred Backus
CBS News projects that Trump will win the 2024 Iowa GOP caucuses
CBS News projects that former President Donald Trump will win the 2024 Iowa GOP caucuses.
CBS News currently rates the 2024 Iowa GOP caucuses as “Lean Trump”
As of 8 p.m. ET as the caucusing begins, CBS News currently rates the 2024 Iowa GOP caucuses as “Lean Trump.”
Iowa GOP Chairman touts “transparent” process ahead of voting
Iowa GOP chair Jeffrey Kaufmann outlined the voting process to members of the media ahead of the caucuses on Monday, touting its transparency and urging that the results of every one of the 1,657 precincts will be “triple, quadruple checked for the accuracy of those numbers.”
Kaufmann explained that the votes will be counted in front of the crowd that cast the vote, with opportunities for the candidates to have someone observe the counting, pledging that if the candidates believe that they “had a fair process,” then “we will have done our job before any votes even come in.”
“You will find no other place in the entire country, I don’t mean that as a metaphor, that is more transparent than what’s going to happen here tonight,” he said.
— Kaia Hubbard and Sarah Barth
GOP candidates face first primary season test in Iowa
Iowa GOP Chairman Jeffrey Kaufmann outlined the voting process to members of the media ahead of the caucuses on Monday, touting its transparency and urging that the results of every one of the 1,657 precincts will be “triple, quadruple checked for the accuracy of those numbers.”
Some Iowans see “breath of fresh air” in Vivek Ramaswamy
Though polls show Vivek Ramswamy in fourth place in Iowa heading into the caucuses, some Iowans are touting the entrepreneur – the youngest in the race – as a “breath of fresh air.”
Rich Lee of Iowa, 69, told CBS News campaign reporter Shawna Mizelle that Ramaswamy “speaks the truth with a smile,” giving him “a lot of hope for our children and grandchildren.”
“There’s a lot of chaos out there surrounding Trump and Vivek doesn’t have that baggage with him,” Lee explained. “And I think if people will just take the time to listen to him, they’ll be more inspired with every talk he gives.”
Ramaswamy dismissed the polls ahead of the caucuses, telling his supporters to brave the weather as he continued his campaigning in the final hours before the first-in-the-nation contest.
“We come rain or shine, snow or sleet,” Ramaswamy said.
“There are two tickets out of Iowa,” Haley campaign spokesperson says
Olivia Perez-Cubas, a Haley campaign spokesperson, says “the expectations are largely on the two other fellas,” referring to Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.
“We’ve got Donald Trump, who said repeatedly that he’s going to win by 60 points. We’ve got Ron DeSantis, who has invested over $150 million into Iowa. He has put all of his eggs into the Iowa basket. He has the endorsement of the governor. I mean, Iowa is do or die for him,” she told CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett.
Perez-Cubas said the Haley campaign is confident it will have a strong showing in Iowa, but said the pressure is on Trump and DeSantis.
“There’s a very large pressure on Trump and DeSantis to over-perform,” she said. “And ultimately, I think there are two tickets out of Iowa. I think one will go to Donald Trump and the next is going to go to Nikki Haley, and this is quickly becoming a two-person race.”
DeSantis spokesperson says he’s the “underdog” in Iowa
A spokesperson for the DeSantis campaign tried to tamp down expectations for the Florida governor, selling him as the “underdog” against Donald Trump and Nikki Haley.
“I think when you think about the expectations of this race, they are sky high for Donald Trump and they are sky high for Nikki Haley,” Andrew Romeo told CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett ahead of the caucuses. “The reality is if she doesn’t have that strong second, it’s going to be a major letdown for her campaign. Trump has sky high expectations. Ron DeSantis comes in to tonight as the underdog, but that’s exactly how we like it.”
Romeo said the campaign is confident about their standing in the race, adding that “everyone has written our political obituary almost every week,” but “we’re still here.”
“We’re still fighting and we value this underdog position that we’re in, and we feel strongly about where we’re going to end up tonight,” he said.
Iowa Democrats are voting by mail
While Republicans are caususing on Monday night, Democrats are conducting mail-in ballots. The results will be released on March 5, Super Tuesday.
“This gives us an opportunity to have everyone participate who wants to as an Iowa Democrat in who the next president should be,” Iowa Democratic Party chair Rita Hart told CBS News.
Watch more of Lilia Luciano’s interview with Hart in the player above, as well as CBS Minnesota’s Caroline Cummings report on the weather.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker campaigns in Iowa for Biden
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker was in Iowa Monday as a surrogate for the Biden-Harris campaign. He said the three leading Republican candidates are all the same, just in different packaging.
“Tonight’s contest is simply a question of whether you like your MAGA-Trump agenda wrapped in the original packaging or with high heels or with lifts in their boots,” Pritzker said. “Instead their real decision will be made in the general election where the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Read more here from CBS Chicago.
Trump adviser says “our people are going to show up” despite frigid weather
Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller said he and his team are “feeling good” about the night.
Miller told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett the campaign is “confident, not cocky” about Trump’s prospects. Miller said Trump supporters are used to camping out overnight for rallies, and chilly weather won’t deter them.
“Our people are going to show up,” Miller said.
During a Sunday rally in Indianola, Iowa, Trump urged his supporters to get out and caucus for him, even at the expense of their health and life.
“If you’re sick as a dog, you say, ‘Darling, I gotta make it,’” Trump told his rally-goers. “Even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it.”
What to watch in the Iowa caucuses
The CBS News political team is on the ground in Iowa as voters are about to kick off the 2024 presidential election. “CBS Mornings” co-host Tony Dokoupil is joined by Ed O’Keefe and Robert Costa to break down what’s at stake in the Iowa caucuses.
Trump’s court cases overshadowing Iowa caucuses
The Iowa caucuses are Monday night. But this year, the presidential campaign trail runs through courthouses.
In Washington this past week, attorneys for former President Donald Trump argued in federal court that an ex-president should be immune from prosecution, arguments that seemed to get little love from the judges.
On Tuesday, Trump told reporters, “I feel that as a president, you have to have immunity. Very simple.”
A ruling could come in days, though it could be appealed to the Supreme Court. Read more here.
Ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Republican candidates tap voters’ economic frustrations
Republican presidential candidates are seeking to tap into voters’ discontentment with the U.S. economy as Americans hope for relief that eases their money concerns.
CBS News polling shows that a majority of Americans think the economy is in bad shape, despite many strong economic measures, such as low unemployment and a growing U.S. economy.
But many voters are focused on the impact of inflation, which is rising at a slower pace than a year earlier amid the Federal Reserve’s interest rate-hike campaign. Even so, prices remain higher than prior to the pandemic, and millions of Americans say they are struggling to pay their basic household bills.
Read more here.
How many delegates does Iowa have, and how will today’s caucuses impact the 2024 presidential nominations?
A candidate must receive the majority of delegates to win the nomination. For Republicans, this means securing 1,215 of the over 2,400 delegates. For Democrats, there are about 3,900 pledged delegates, and 1,969 are needed to win.
Read more here.
Heading into Iowa caucuses, DeSantis says “a lot” of Iowans “haven’t made up a final decision”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, once widely viewed as the favorite to challenge former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination, but who now appears to be battling Nikki Haley for second place, said his campaign feels “really good” heading into Monday night’s Iowa caucuses.
After months of extensive time and money spent on the Hawkeye State by his campaign and super PAC, DeSantis is hopeful about his return on investment, even as polls show Trump maintaining a dominant lead.
“When people take a poll, they can push someone one way or other, but there’s a lot of people that still haven’t made up a final decision,” DeSantis told “CBS Mornings” anchor Tony Dokoupil. “So I think we’re in good situation to be able to capture that.”
Read more here and watch Tony Dokoupil’s full interview with DeSantis:
What is a caucus? A guide to tonight’s Iowa caucuses
Iowa Republicans will be voting for their preferred presidential candidate tonight in caucus precincts across the state after months of evaluating the candidates. A caucus is a political meeting, as opposed to a primary, which is an election. There are 1,670 precincts across Iowa that will be holding caucus meetings this evening.
A representative from each campaign is allowed to give a short speech in support of its candidate, and then ballots are handed out to the caucusgoers, who vote by secret ballot. The ballots are then collected and counted in open view of the caucus. A campaign representative is allowed to view the counting, but members of the press are not.
After the results are tabulated, they’re recorded on a form by the caucus secretary and announced by the precinct chair and then submitted electronically to the Iowa Republican Party.
Read more here.