For a glimpse into ‘Iowa Silver,’ watch these counties first tonight

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It’s caucus day in Iowa, and all indicators level to a decisive win for Donald Trump.

The previous president has been a constant frontrunner in surveys.  

However even when Trump takes house a primary place trophy, the competition will make information. With so few candidates left within the discipline, the one that is available in second is perhaps the one one with an opportunity at competing with Trump.

Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Donald Trump split

From left: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and former President Donald Trump. (Getty Photographs)


Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis are the most effective positioned to take house that silver medal. And provided that these candidates are solely separated by a number of factors in latest surveys, we may very well be in for an extended night time.

So, for an early look into the statewide end result, watch the returns from these counties. They may inform us one thing in regards to the form of the general race.

The agricultural counties the place Trump is anticipated to win massive

Donald Trump has a robust bond with voters throughout the Hawkeye State, but it surely’s rural voters who like Trump most.

Low earnings, non-college educated, and/or evangelical voters are additionally extra prone to stay in rural areas, and these teams are crucial components of Trump’s base.

The excellent news for Trump is that Iowa is house to dozens of sparsely populated rural zones. 48 of the state’s 99 counties have fewer than 15,000 residents.

Trump in Iowa

Donald Trump arrives on stage throughout a marketing campaign occasion at Simpson School in Indianola, Iowa, US, on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024. (Al Drago/Bloomberg through Getty Photographs)

Collectively, they add as much as a strong voting bloc.

Trump will look to run up the margins as a lot as attainable throughout all 48 of these counties, and past.

He has probably the most work to do in deeply rural counties like those under, the place Trump had a few of his lowest vote shares in 2016:

  • Winnebago County, within the north (18.6%)
  • Hancock County, additionally within the north (18.8%)
  • Montgomery County, within the southwest (20.7%)
  • Grundy County, in central Iowa (20.9%)
  • Delaware County, close to the japanese border (22.2%)

(He had equally low vote shares in probably the most evangelical rural counties, as we’ll talk about later.)

Trump is poised to do a lot better in these counties than he did eight years in the past. The upper the margin, the harder it is going to be for each of the main options, particularly DeSantis, to interrupt by.


Counties with probably the most populated cities

Nikki Haley is operating a special marketing campaign to Donald Trump’s. Her document and insurance policies, significantly on international coverage and spending, are extra interesting to non-Trump and/or pro-establishment GOP voters.

Consequently, Haley over-performs with city and suburban voters.

For her to do nicely on caucus night time, she might want to acquire as many uncooked votes as attainable within the highest-populated cities.

Nikki Haley in Iowa

Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, speaks throughout a marketing campaign occasion at The James Theater in Iowa Metropolis, Iowa, US, on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. (Alex Scott/Bloomberg through Getty Photographs)

A really perfect night time for Haley would look much like Marco Rubio’s efficiency in 2016. He captured 23% of the general statewide vote, totally on the again of sturdy performances within the city counties.

Listed below are these counties, together with Rubio’s share:

  • Polk County, house to Des Moines (26.9%)
  • Scott County, house to Davenport (26.2%)
  • Johnson County, house to Iowa Metropolis and the College of Iowa (30.5%)

Regardless of her second place end in each the Des Moines Register/NBC News and Suffolk surveys this week, Haley additionally has an enthusiasm downside: a majority of her voters say they’re solely mildly or much less smitten by her.

So search for Haley’s vote share and total turnout within the locations the place she’s anticipated to do finest.

The ‘evangelical square’ in northwest Iowa

By speaking about his document on points like abortion and transgender surgical procedure, Ron DeSantis has been attempting to steer voters that he’s probably the most socially conservative candidate within the discipline.

His objective is to win over White evangelical voters. They’ve traditionally been the driving pressure behind caucus winners, together with Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum.

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a marketing campaign occasion at The Grass Wagon on January 13, 2024, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Photographs)

The hassle has not been very profitable: 51% of evangelicals say Trump is their first alternative within the DMR survey.

DeSantis is the subsequent finest, with 22% of the evangelical vote. That’s six factors greater than his total efficiency within the state.

To see how DeSantis performs with that group on caucus night time, watch these 4 counties within the northwestern nook of the state, all house to a really excessive share of White Christian populations:

  • Lyon County (87%)
  • Osceola County (83%)
  • O’Brien County (82%)
  • Sioux County (81%)

There are others scattered all through the state. Watch returns in Shelby County (83%), Pocahontas (83%) and Monroe (82%).

The Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa lead off the GOP nominating calendar

A blizzard slams into Iowa simply forward of the state’s extremely anticipated GOP presidential caucuses. (Fox Information – Paul Steinhauser)

To be clear, DeSantis might want to do much more than outperform in these counties. They solely have small populations; the Florida governor would want to do nicely with evangelicals statewide for a robust second place end.

However an outperformance for DeSantis tomorrow begins with sturdy evangelical margins. The northwest will present us whether or not that technique is working.

Calhoun County might present hints on the statewide end result

Lastly, keep watch over Calhoun County. This rural county close to the japanese a part of the state is house to simply 9,725 individuals, however its voters carefully matched the preferences of the whole state in 2016.

In Calhoun, Cruz gained 28.6% of the vote. Statewide, he received 27.6%.

Trump obtained 24.4% of the vote in Calhoun, simply 0.1 share factors away from his statewide complete of 24.3%.

Even Rubio’s share was about the identical: 21.7% in Calhoun, 23.1% total.

No different county received this near the general end result.

That would make Calhoun a helpful indicator of the statewide end result this time round. And with so few individuals, its outcomes ought to are available in rapidly.

We’ll know whether or not Calhoun remains to be a number one indicator – and the way helpful all of those counties are to the general vote – when outcomes begin coming in tonight.

Stay tuned to Fox News Channel

Fox crew protection continues all through caucus day. Our reporters are following the campaigns as they make their last-minute pitches to voters.

Caucuses convene at 8PM ET (7PM in Iowa). Since these are conferences that start with speeches from the campaigns, amongst different formalities, anticipate to attend earlier than the primary outcomes turn out to be out there.


All through the night, keep tuned for unique insights from the Fox News Voter Analysis and the Fox Information Choice Desk, which can name the race.

At 10PM ET, particular protection begins with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.