Supporters of Donald Trump during his caucus night event, Des Moines, Iowa, January 15, 2024 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
I spoke with BBC radio outlets and Al Jazeera English on Tuesday about the Republican caucuses in Iowa, the first contest of the 2024 US Presidential campaign, and why it is wrong to anoint Donald Trump as the GOP nominee already.
I assess the caucuses, noting their difference from a primary and the relative small size of 100,000 voters. I look at the respective positions of Trump (51%), Ron DeSantis (21.2%), and Nikki Haley (19.1%).
I explain why the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday is vital, perhaps decisive, with Haley running a strong second in polls behind Trump. If she remains above 30% next week, then the contest continues to her home state of South Carolina on February 24 and possibly “Super Tuesday” and its 14 primaries on March 5. If not, then the media might be justified in its coronation of Trump to face President Joe Biden in November’s general election.
Watch Al Jazeera English
An extract from my discussion on Tuesday about how Trump’s spectacle has hijacked the Republican process:
"Trump continues to be ringmaster of the circus."
Scott Lucas, a professor at University College Dublin, discusses the implications of Trump's victory in the Iowa caucuses for the US presidential election ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/thOCK0VHT2
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) January 17, 2024
I begin by firmly addressing the opening question of James Williams, “Is that it? Sewn up [for Trump]?”
Speaking with Malcolm Boyden, I offer a Beginner’s Guide to the difference between a caucus and a primary. Then I walk the path from New Hampshire to South Carolina and Super Tuesday.
I joined a panel on BBC Talkback in a discussion of the caucus, its aftermath, Trump’s legal issues, and the potential significance for US foreign policy of a Trump second term.
I ask if Trump will continue to “suck the oxygen out of the room” with media fixation of his spectacle rather than on the issues. Along the way, I knock back the disinformation of Trump supporter Jennifer Ewing.
The other panellists are Dr. Stefan Andreasson of Queen’s University Belfast and former NATO official Fabrice Poithier.