Christian Monterrosa Agence France-Presse Former President Donald Trump raises his fist and hopes to win against his opponents.
Camille Camdessus – Agence France-Presse in Des Moines
- United States
Will Donald Trump knock out all his rivals in the first round ? Will Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis create a surprise, helped by terrible weather ? Iowa launches the big one on Monday Republican primary ball.
For the first time since he left power, the former American president, four times criminally charged, faces the judgment of voters.
The 77-year-old billionaire is well on his way to winning this crucial electoral meeting: according to the polls, he has one of the largest leads ever seen over his rivals — almost 50% of the intentions vote.
“We will win hands down,” Donald Trump tells his activists, promising to oust Joe Biden from power in the November presidential election.
The former leader can rely on an army of volunteers who have been combing every corner of Iowa for months to mobilize voters.
- In Iowa, first electoral meeting of the year for the Republicans
- Donald Trump is betting big on Monday's caucuses in Iowa
“It’s canceled ?”
A last minute unknown, however, disrupts the equation for the Republican favorite: the cold.
The entire state has been hit by a snowstorm and the thermometer is expected to be around -30°C by the time of voting, with icy roads.
Will Donald Trump's voters, convinced of their candidate's victory, be motivated to vote under these conditions ?
“The main question I get is whether the vote is overturned,” warns Maci Arjes, head of a group of young Republicans at her university in Iowa City.
The verdict will begin at 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. Eastern), when voters will gather at schools, libraries and fire stations across the Midwestern state.
After a prayer and a recitation of the traditional pledge of allegiance to the American flag, representatives of the candidates will give a speech in favor of their champion before participants write their choice on a piece of paper.
Donald Trump plans to go to several of these electoral meetings, called “caucuses”, during the evening, his entourage told AFP.
Five candidates are vying to block his path to the White House, but only two still seem to have a chance.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, the only woman in the race, is benefiting from a recent rise in the polls.
The fifty-year-old is the new darling of the right, very appreciated in particular by business circles.
As for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a conservative with shocking positions on immigration or abortion, this forty-year-old has bet everything on Iowa, traveling in recent months to each of the 99 counties.
“I’m asking you to come out, brave the cold and support me in the Iowa caucus,” he told his supporters Monday morning.
Observers do not rule out the possibility of one or the other creating a surprise and eating into part of Donald Trump's enormous lead.
However, if the former president does not obtain the triumph announced in Iowa, his image of invincibility risks being damaged for the rest of the race.
Because from next week, the highly orchestrated ballet of the primaries will take the candidates to New Hampshire, before each of the 50 states votes in turn until June.
In line of sight the national convention in July, which will officially nominate the Republican presidential candidate.
For Donald Trump, the priority is to ensure victory before his trials begin, some of which put him at risk of prison.
The Republican will experience an extraordinary year in every way, punctuated by comings and goings between the courts and the platforms of meetings.
And the Democrats ?
Already strong in the official support of his party, outgoing President Joe Biden should, barring any major surprises, be designated in August as their candidate. And this despite repeated criticism of the age of the octogenarian leader.
The Democrat announced Monday that he had a war chest of more than $117 million for his re-election campaign — a significant asset in a country where political victories are won with billions of dollars. dollars.