Republican supporters of rivals of former President Donald Trump were unhappy at the media’s almost immediate projection Trump as the winner of Monday’s Iowa caucuses.
Various media outlets, including The Associated Press, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, declared Trump the winner just 31 minutes after the caucuses began after the former president started tallying up a seemingly insurmountable lead, according to The Des Moines Register.
The Register reported that many in the GOP, including Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, were unhappy with the call as many caucusgoers had not even cast their vote.
“Media outlets calling the results of the 2024 first-in-the-nation caucus less than half an hour after precinct caucuses had been called to order — before the overwhelming majority of Iowans had even cast their ballot — was highly disappointing and concerning,” Kaufmann said in a statement, according to The Des Moines Register.
“One of the key differences between the Iowa Caucus and a standard primary election is that Iowans have the chance to listen to presidential candidates or their surrogates and deliberate to make an informed decision.
“There was no need to rush one of the most transparent, grassroots democratic processes in the country.”
Also angered by the call was the campaign of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which denounced the it “election interference.”
“It is absolutely outrageous that the media would participate in election interference by calling the race before tens of thousands of Iowans even had a chance to vote,” the DeSantis campaign’s communications director, Andrew Romeo, said in a statement, according to the Register.
“The media is in the tank for Trump, and this is the most egregious example yet.”
Many DeSantis supporters also expressed their frustration, including conservative commentator Steve Deace, who went so far as to call Fox News a “cancer” on the media landscape.
“People are telling me phones got Fox News alerts Trump won before they even voted. Just criminal levels of voter suppression,” Deace wrote on the social media platform X. “That network is a freaking cancer. With ‘friends’ like Fox, who needs CNN?”
People are telling me phones got Fox News alerts Trump won before they even voted. Just criminal levels of voter suppression. That network is a freaking cancer. With “friends” like Fox, who needs CNN?
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) January 16, 2024
The calls came so early that the Iowa Event Center in Des Moines, where Trump was hosting a warch party, had yet to draw a crowd when the news came.
The Des Moines Register spoke with voters who gave their views on the decision.
“It was pretty quick,” said 69-year-old Vickie Froehlich, 69, who was interviewed at the Iowa Event Center. gathered to hear the candidate. “Everybody knew he was going to win, so it’s not too surprising.
“People were already at the caucuses,” she added. “They knew how they were all going to vote.”
The paper also spoke with GOP political consultant Rob Stutzman, who described the call as “disappointing” but played down its impact on the final results.
“It was a bit disappointing to call it while people were still in caucus meetings,” Stutzman, a Californian, told the Register. “But I don’t think it had any material effect on turnout.”
The news outlets’ early calls were ultimately proven right.
Trump won a resounding victory with approximately 51 percent of the vote, followed by DeSantis at 21 percent and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at 19 percent.
Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy won just 7.7 percent of the vote and suspended his campaign Monday night, according to The Associated Press.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.