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Early Iowa Call for Trump Raises Questions

Observers and the press questioned the Associated Press’s decision to call the Iowa Republican Caucus for President Donald Trump just 30 minutes after it began. Many accused the AP of breaking its own rules by declaring a winner while polls were still open.

AP’s Decision Criteria

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According to the AP’s guidelines, they do not call a race winner before all polls close. However, in this case, they cited early returns and surveys showing Trump’s “insurmountable lead” as the basis for their early call.

Reaction on Social Media

Credit: New York, USA – 15 February 2021: Bloomberg website in browser with company logo, Illustrative Editorial — Photo by postmodernstudio

Jennifer Jacobs from Bloomberg News expressed concern on social media that some precincts hadn’t voted when Trump was declared the winner. This sentiment was echoed by others, highlighting a broader skepticism.

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Spicer’s Critique

Credit: The White House. Washington, DC, USA. April 16, 2015. — Photo by a2gxe

Even Sean Spicer, Trump’s former White House Press Secretary, criticized the early call as “highly irresponsible.” His statement reflects the widespread disapproval of the decision across different political affiliations.

DeSantis Campaign Outcry

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The DeSantis campaign was particularly vocal in its opposition to the early call. Campaign manager James Uthmeier called the decision “appalling” and detrimental to the democratic process.

Voter Disillusionment

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Uthmeier also noted the chilling effect on voters, recounting a voter’s question about the point of voting if the outcome was already decided. This sentiment highlights concerns about undermining electoral integrity.

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International Comparison

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In a strong statement, Uthmeier compared the early call to practices in the Middle East, not the United States. He emphasized the gravity of declaring winners before voting ends in a democracy.

Impact on Caucus Participation

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Scott Wagner from Never Back Down Inc. observed that people began leaving the caucus before voting when they heard about the early call. This demonstrates the immediate impact of the AP’s decision on voter engagement.

Campaign’s Media Bias Claim

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Christina Pushaw, from the DeSantis campaign, accused the media of bias in favor of Biden. She suggested the early call was intended to influence the electoral outcome.

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Ramaswamy Supporters’ Reaction

Des Moines, Iowa, USA – August 12, 2023: Biotechnology Entrepreneur and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy greets supporters at the Iowa State Fair fair side chats in Des Moines, Iowa. — Photo by jhansen2

Attendees at businessman Vivek Ramaswamy’s caucus watch party were bemused by the quick declaration. The early call surprised many, including those who had not yet voted.

Voter Opinions

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Other caucus participants expressed their disapproval of the premature declaration. They suggested the media should have reported Trump’s lead instead of outright declaring him the winner.

Election Results

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Despite the controversy, with 78.8 percent of the vote reported, President Trump won 50.9 percent of the vote. Ron DeSantis secured 21.3 percent, followed by Nikki Haley with 19.1 percent. Ramaswamy dropped out of the race on the night.

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Credit: The Hill

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Credit: DepositPhotos

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Credit: James Pollard / AP

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