Jesse Gutierres believes only one Republican candidate will restore confidence in the economy.
Kelly Nieuwenhuis wants to move beyond the chaos.
Shannon Demastus wants a president she can be proud of.
Will You Vote for Trump Again?
It’s the question weighing on Republicans across the country. But Iowans get to decide first. We listened as they grappled with their choices.
By Jennifer Medina
Photographs by Jordan Gale
Jan. 11, 2024
There is no way around it: The Iowa caucuses on Monday, the kickoff of the 2024 presidential election, are not really about competing visions for the future of the Republican Party. They are not a battle between dueling ideologies or policy priorities or America’s role in the world.
They revolve around one man, the gravitational center of Republican politics for nearly a decade: the former — and perhaps future — President Donald J. Trump.
Republicans are in the throes of deciding whether they want Mr. Trump to continue his total dominance over their party. Do they want four more years of his brand of personality-driven, divisive and combative politics? Do they see him as a victim, or as a demagogue? Are they willing to risk nominating a candidate facing 91 charges and who could be a felon come Election Day?
Polling shows Republicans are preparing to take the leap; Mr. Trump appears to likely win in Iowa. But the numbers don’t capture the ambivalence and anxiety weighing on many as they grapple with their decisions.
We listened as nearly two dozen Iowa Republicans talked through the factors guiding their choices — the worries about high prices and high interest rates, concerns about divisions and morality, a deep skepticism about the justice system and the news media and, for some, an abiding loyalty to Mr. Trump. His rivals, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Nikki Haley, a former ambassador to the United Nations, have struggled to break that bond.
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