98-1: A Single Iowa County Prevented a Trump Shutout in the Caucuses


Former President Donald J. Trump won 98 of 99 counties in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, according to preliminary results published by the state Republican Party, demonstrating just how broadly he swept the first-in-the-nation contest.

In counties large and small, Mr. Trump racked up commanding leads across the state. In the only county he lost, it was by a single vote: Johnson County, the state’s bluest county and the home of Iowa City and the University of Iowa, went for former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina.

Shut out from a single victory was Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who had banked his candidacy on Iowa and put enormous effort into campaigning in rural, sparsely populated areas. He visited every one of Iowa’s 99 counties in the months before the caucuses, a tour known as the “Full Grassley,” and was rewarded on Monday with second- and third-place finishes from Sioux City to Davenport.

Vivek Ramaswamy, the pro-Trump entrepreneur who dropped out on Monday after receiving just 7 percent of the vote in Iowa, had visited all 99 counties at least twice, a strategy that did not deliver the surprise performance he had been brashly predicting for months.

Mr. Trump in contrast had put far less effort into circuiting the state and indulging in the kind of retail politics that Iowa campaigning is known for. He also had surrogates do much of the campaigning for him until the final week before the caucuses.

After battling fiercely for second place in the race’s final weeks, Ms. Haley finished third overall in Iowa on Monday night. Her lone bright spot, albeit narrowly, was Johnson County. In his 2020 re-election campaign, Mr. Trump lost the county with just 27 percent of the vote, to over 70 percent for Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Ms. Haley had been expected to do better in more populous urban and suburban areas — much like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who eight years ago won significant margins in the counties of Des Moines, its suburbs and Iowa City, as he, too, came in third place.

But turnout fell sharply across the state this year, the lowest since the Republican caucuses in 2000, and urban counties lost thousands of votes. In the end, Ms. Haley fell far short in Iowa’s largest cities, losing by wide margins to Mr. Trump — and sometimes behind Mr. DeSantis — in the counties that include Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Sioux City.



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