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Where Republican candidates go next after the Iowa caucuses

Less than 2% of total delegates were up for grabs Monday, meaning there is still plenty at stake for the remaining candidates.
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump takes the stage.
Posted at 2:11 PM, Jan 16, 2024

The Iowa caucuses were held on Monday, marking the first time voters got to weigh in on the Republicans' 2024 presidential nominee. The night was easily won by former President Donald Trump, who earned over 51% of the vote — well ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. 

Here is a look at where the race stands after Iowa. 

Trump picks up majority of delegates

To become the GOP nominee, a candidate must earn 1,215 delegates out of 2,249. On Monday, Trump picked up 20 out of a possible 38. The delegate haul was pretty modest since Iowa is a relatively small state. DeSantis got nine delegates while Haley picked up eight.

But what was learned on Monday was that Trump is still the overwhelming favorite to win the party's nomination. 

6th GOP debate: Haley out unless Trump participates
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, right, debates against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

6th GOP debate: Haley out unless Trump participates

The next debate is slated for Thursday from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire — just four days before the state's primary.


Field shrinks

The number of candidates vying for the nomination declined by two in the hours following the Iowa caucuses. Late Monday, Vivek Ramaswamy announced he was suspending his campaign after finishing in fourth place. Early Tuesday, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he is exiting the race after finishing sixth. 

Ramaswamy and Hutchinson were not invited to the final debate before the caucuses due to low polling numbers. 

Speaking of debates

Thursday's debate hosted by ABC News might not be held. Only three candidates — Trump, DeSantis and Haley — qualified. Trump has yet to participate in a debate. Haley said she would only participate in a debate if Trump or President Joe Biden participated. Of course, Biden is not among the candidates vying for the Republican nomination. 

That would leave DeSantis as the only person to accept the invitation. 

There is also a debate scheduled for Sunday to air on CNN.

New Hampshire's importance

New Hampshire hosts its primary on Jan. 23. Like Iowa, New Hampshire has long been an important early bellwether for candidates. While Iowa has long drawn party loyalists, New Hampshire has a more open primary. The result is that New Hampshire has generally supported candidates that would fare better in a general election. 

Polling suggests that New Hampshire may end up being slightly tighter than Iowa, with Haley coming in second. A poll conducted by CNN and the University of New Hampshireshowed Trump with 39% of likely primary voters, with Haley pulling in 32%. DeSantis had just 5%. 

The poll was taken before Ramaswamy and Hutchinson and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dropped out. 

The poll also found that 29% of voters in the primary are not registered Republicans. 

Beyond New Hampshire

After New Hampshire, the next event is the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 8. The Virgin Islands, Michigan and South Carolina also have primaries in February. 

The calendar really picks up in early March, as there are 21 nominating events in which nearly 1,000 delegates will be up for grabs.