Donald Trump appears to be heading to a comfortable victory in Monday’s Iowa caucuses.
According to the final Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom poll released Saturday, nearly half of likely caucusgoers support the former president in what will be the opening contest of Republican primary season.
In a projected second place is South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at 20 percent, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 16 percent. With Trump widely expected to win, the race between Haley and DeSantis will be for most people the most interesting aspect of the results.
Politico noted that the poll is “widely considered to be the gold standard in the state and can be influential in shaping the final outcome.”
“The Des Moines Register’s final poll is an important marker — not just of the candidates’ standing going into the caucus, but of momentum. In previous caucuses in both parties, candidates surging in the last poll have sometimes carried that momentum into the vote, like Barack Obama in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012,” the outlet explained.
WATCH: A record 48% of likely GOP caucusgoers support Trump in the final NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll.
It’s the highest share for a GOP candidate in a DMR poll ever, says @SteveKornacki.
Plus, with just 20% of support, Haley surpasses DeSantis for 2nd place. pic.twitter.com/LCN2RN5Fs9
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 14, 2024
Should either DeSantis or Haley demonstrate less support than expected, there will likely be calls for them to suspend their campaign and unite around one candidate with the aim of beating Trump.
Trailing Haley and DeSantis are an array of longshot candidates, including businessman Vivek Ramaswamy at 8 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson at 1 percent, Pastor Ryan Binkley at 1 percent and 7 percent who are undecided.
Ramaswamy, whom many have accused of being a surrogate for Trump, was subject to an attack by the former president on Saturday, accusing him of engaging in “sly” and “deceitful” campaign tricks.”
“Vivek started his campaign as a great supporter, ‘the best President in generations,’ etc,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
“Unfortunately, now all he does is disguise his support in the form of deceitful campaign tricks. Very sly, but a vote for Vivek is a vote for the ‘other side’ — don’t get duped by this.”
“Elderly Iowans, the backbone of the caucus, are wondering how they will make it to their sites Monday,” the agency noted. “Political types are mentally downgrading their expected turnout and wondering who a smaller, harder-core electorate will favor.”
Nevertheless, national polls also show Trump cruising to victory in practically every available state.
According to the latest RealClearPolling average, Trump maintains an average 49-point lead over the rest of the field.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.