Iowa Caucuses 2020: Donald Trump bags emphatic Republican win over opponents Bill Weld and Joe Walsh
The president's win was never in doubt and through it, he rewrote history as Iowa was less kind to him in the 2016 caucuses when Ted Cruz won
While all eyes were glued to the Democratic caucuses in Iowa on Monday, February 3, President Donald Trump bagged the Republican caucuses as expected. The GOP caucuses were largely a symbolic occasion since Trump faced no significant opponent. It was also the first time that Trump won the Hawkeye State, which had preferred Texas Senator Ted Cruz over him by just over 3% in the 2016 caucuses.
According to a report in Associated Press, Trump’s campaign used the Iowa Caucuses to test its organizational strength by sending top officials and even members from the first family to the state. Trump’s opponents were Bill Weld and Joe Walsh but they proved to be minuscule opponents for the incumbent president who bagged 97% of the votes.
Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, who is running a longshot challenge against Trump, could poll less than 1% of the vote. Former Illinois representative and Tea Party congressman Walsh, a fierce critic of the president, was similarly far behind.
The Republican side also wanted to steal some limelight from the Democrats who were witnessing a close battle in their caucuses in the state.
Iowa GOP didn't want to scrap caucuses
It is not usual for Iowa to hold a GOP contest when the president belongs to that party. In 1992 and 2004 respectively, Republican caucuses were canceled and George HW Bush and Geroge W Bush won unopposed. However, Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kauffman said this time that party’s state officials were not in favor of letting go of the caucuses since Iowa is the first in the nation to cast its ballots.
In 2016, Trump spoke kindly about Iowa even after losing the caucuses to Cruz, saying that he could come back to buy a farm in the state.
Meanwhile, Trump's re-election campaign removed a Bloomberg News reporter from one of its events in Iowa on Monday, just ahead of the caucuses. According to The Hill, the reporter named Jennifer Jacobs was escorted out of a press meet in West Des Moines and an official of the campaign said it was consistent with a policy to prevent members of the media outlet from getting credentials to cover campaigns.