CNN host Jake Tapper seemed stunned when the network called former President Donald Trump’s victory in Iowa Monday evening less than an hour into the Iowa caucuses.
CNN and other networks declared Trump won Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses within forty minutes of them starting. Trump had 52% of the vote with 36.1 % of the count completed, according to Fox News, while Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida was in second place with 20.19%.
“This is the earliest I can remember ever calling such a thing,” Tapper told CNN host Erin Burnett.
Trump drew 52.5% support in the RealClearPolitics average of polls of Iowa caucus goers taken from Jan. 5-14, with former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley receiving 18.8% and DeSantis receiving 15.7%, while businessman Vivek Ramaswamy drew 6.8%.
“They expected for him to win. Obviously if he didn’t, it would be like a meteor striking the earth in their world,” CNN host and former Daily Caller White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins said. “Their question is what is that margin going to look like? And you can see they have – Donald Trump is speaking. His sons are speaking. He has allies and operatives fanned out at every precinct making his case to everyone who’s at these caucuses, and it just speaks to the moment that we are in.”
The Republican contenders will face off in the New Hampshire primary set for Jan. 23.