Trump projected to easily win Iowa caucuses – as all eyes on second place battle

US

Donald Trump has won the Republican party’s Iowa caucuses, according to a projection by Sky’s US partner NBC News.

The voting is the first step of a process that’s likely to see the former president picked as Republican candidate for November’s election.

Mr Trump was overwhelming favourite to be top pick among Republican members in Iowa and all eyes are now on his margin of victory and who will come second.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley are hoping for a respectable result to position themselves as a credible outside challenger.

Mr Trump had urged supporters in Iowa to brave temperatures colder than -20C to register their vote, joking “even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it”.

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Nikki Haley is hoping to fend off Ron DeSantis for second place

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Mr DeSantis has crisscrossed the state to strengthen his campaign

Voting among Republican party members began at 7pm local time in hundreds of schools, community centres and other venues across Iowa.

Those who attend listen to speeches on behalf of each candidate before making their choice.

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A big win for Mr Trump would strengthen his claim that he’s the only serious candidate to take on President Biden.

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Votes are counted during a caucus at Fellows Elementary School, in Ames, Iowa

The ex-president is forecast to secure 16 delegates in Iowa, according to NBC News, with his two main challengers each predicted to pick up four.

A series of caucuses and primaries in different states will determine how many delegates each candidate has at the Republican national convention in the summer – where the ultimate winner will be chosen.

New Hampshire hosts the next vote on 23 January.

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