Campaign aides and allies of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are none-too-pleased that Iowa was called for Trump within about 30 minutes on Monday evening, crying foul and alleging “election interference” in the first contest of the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
In Iowa’s process, all locations are to begin conducting the caucus at 7:00 p.m. local time. But the differing turnouts at each caucus site along with varying amounts of business to handle and candidate pitches to hear before voting begins means that not every location begins and finishes voting at the same time. On Monday night, that meant Trump’s substantial early lead caused the call for Trump before some locations had even begun voting.
I’m at a precinct that hasn’t even voted yet, and the media are trying to call the race for Trump.
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) January 16, 2024
While it wouldn’t have been as much of an issue in earlier years, the always-connected reality of 2024 means that most caucus-goers likely saw the news as soon as the race was called via a post on X or a push alert from a news outlet — whether they’d cast a ballot yet or not.
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also criticized the early call for his former boss:
Now in a (so far at least) neck-and-neck fight for second place as votes are tallied, DeSantis and former Ambassador Nikki Haley are each looking for a strong runner-up finish to Trump as they look toward primaries in New Hampshire later this month and South Carolina toward the end of February. As always, live results will continue to update on the map below.