Interview with KOA’s Marty Lenz and Jeana Gondek Wednesday after the Iowa caucus. We reviewed the results and what’s next in New Hampshire (January 23) and South Carolina (February 24).
- Donald Trump met the expectation to win but turnout was low (not unexpected given the freeze) and half of the votes went to other candidate. But he did do better with suburban, upscale voters.
- Nikki Haley needed to come in second (some polls had her ahead of Ron DeSantis) but barely missed it. So, she lost the positive press and momentum into New Hampshire. She is still seen as the strongest candidate to take on Trump. Between her and Chris Christie, who has dropped out, they have 42 percent of New Hampshire voters (Republican and Independents) and Trump 44.
- New Hampshire, due to its independent voters being able to participate and more moderate, less evangelical Republicans is seen as the best early state for Haley. It’s a must win for her.
- Early polls in South Carolina show Trump with 52 percent and Haley at 22 percent, in spite of being the former governor. The state’s Republicans are very conservative and Trump has been a longtime favorite.
- The end of the Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson campaigns was expected given the polls, results, and lack of new contributions. Called the winnowing of the process, it normally leads to a consolidation toward a frontrunner or the few remaining competitors.
- Colorado and 15 other states vote on March 5, probably the end of the competitive primary season and start of the general election campaign.
KOA’s Marty Lenz and Jeana Gondek