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Trump secures support from majority of Senate Republicans with Ted Cruz’s endorsement

Ron DeSantis had harsh words for Nikki Haley in South Carolina but had to cancel a New Hampshire stop due to snow. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has dropped out.
Image: Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis takes questions from reporters today in South Carolina.Jeffrey Collins / AP

Here's the latest from the 2024 campaign trail:

  • Former President Donald Trump held a campaign rally tonight in New Hampshire, where he's seeking to capitalize on his massive Iowa victory ahead of the state's primary on Jan. 23.
  • After finishing second in Iowa, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis campaigned in South Carolina but had to cancel a New Hampshire stop because of snow. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is stumping in New Hampshire.
  • Haley says after her close third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses that she will debate only Trump or President Joe Biden going forward, leading ABC News to cancel its New Hampshire debate scheduled for Thursday.
  • After his distant fifth-place finish in Iowa, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson ended his campaign, saying, "My message of being a principled Republican with experience and telling the truth about the current front-runner did not sell in Iowa."
  • Trump was endorsed tonight by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, meaning he now has endorsements from a majority of Senate Republicans.

Rep. Dean Phillips talks UFOs with New Hampshire voters

At a diner stop in New Hampshire, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota found himself discussing UFOs — officially known as unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs — with two voters.

Phillips, a Democratic presidential candidate, told the voters that he doesn't believe in UFOs, but he called up his friend and colleague Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., who launched the UAP caucus in Congress. The Republican voter in the booth and the diner got a kick out of speaking with Burchett.

At another table, four voters said that while they liked Phillips, they would be writing in Biden's name during next week's primary.

Biden's allies are pushing a write-in campaign to help him win the Granite State, which he is technically not competing in, after he directed the Democratic National Committee to make South Carolina the first Democratic contest of the nominating process.

Steve Kornacki revisits the Republican primary race between John McCain and George W. Bush and points out how Haley’s advantages with independents could be used against her with Republican purists the way Bush turned the tables on McCain.

New poll finds Trump leading Biden in Georgia

A new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, finds Trump leading Biden by 8 percentage points in the battleground state of Georgia, 45% to 37% among registered voters — a result that’s outside the margin of error.

Another 7% said they would support another candidate, 6% said they won't vote, and 6% said they didn’t know.

The poll is consistent with other recent battleground surveys showing Trump ahead of Biden. But the standard caveat: We’re still nearly a year out before the general election.

The poll also has Biden’s approval rating in Georgia at 32% approve, 62% disapprove. That compares with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp at 57% approve, 31% disapprove.

The poll of 1,007 registered voters was conducted Jan. 3-11, and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

N.H. Gov. Sununu: Haley will be 'clear and only second place, maybe even a winner'

In an interview with NBC News' Hallie Jackson, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican who has endorsed Haley, expressed hope for her chances in his state after she placed third in Iowa.

Sununu predicted that Haley will have a "strong second-place" finish, adding that she would not be like DeSantis in Iowa, "barely trying to squeak out second place with a point over Nikki." Rather, he said, she will be the "clear and only second place, maybe even a winner," in next week's primary.

Ted Cruz endorses Trump: 'I believe this race is over'

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, endorsed Trump tonight on Fox News, saying he doesn't see a path to the GOP nomination for any of the other candidates.

“I’m a big believer in letting democracy play out. Well, last night it played out,” said Cruz in reference to Trump’s dominating Iowa caucuses victory. “I believe this race is over. So I am proud to endorse Donald Trump for president of the United States.”

“I don’t see any path to victory for anyone other than Donald Trump,” he told Fox News' Sean Hannity. “New Hampshire may be closely contested. … After New Hampshire, it will go to South Carolina. I believe in South Carolina you’re going to see Trump win a dominating victory.”

Cruz’s endorsement means 25 of the 49 Republicans in the Senate have endorsed Trump.

Cruz bested Trump in the 2016 Iowa caucuses, a bitter campaign battle in a cycle in which Trump insulted Cruz’s wife and claimed Cruz’s father was an associate of JFK’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Trump goes after Haley in N.H. as Ramaswamy joins him onstage

ATKINSON, N.H. — Trump took aim at Haley in remarks tonight, directing more criticism at her than at DeSantis, who came in second in the Iowa caucuses last night.

Trump said Haley “in particular is counting on the Democrats and liberals to infiltrate your Republican primary.”

He called her speech in Iowa last night "inappropriate," touted his poll numbers, claimed that Haley was “not tough enough” to work with people and suggested that she was a “disaster” when she served in his administration as U.N. ambassador.

Ramaswamy, who dropped out of the GOP primary campaign last night and endorsed Trump, joined the former president onstage this evening to deliver remarks and was met by chants of “veep” from the crowd.

Biden video: 'I’m still the only person to ever beat Donald Trump'

Biden posted a video to X the day after the Iowa caucuses, reiterating that he's still the only candidate to have defeated Trump.

"You know, it's kind of funny. All these Republican candidates in the primary are trying to beat Donald Trump," Biden said. "And I'm still the only person to ever beat Donald Trump, and I'm looking forward to doing it again for the good of this country."

After Trump was projected to win Iowa last night, Biden said on X that the election "was always going to be you and me vs. extreme MAGA Republicans." His campaign sent out a similar fundraising email.

Trump, the Republican front-runner, is calling on his rivals to unite with him after his historic Iowa win. Haley is focusing on New Hampshire, where she has risen in polls, while DeSantis has moved on to South Carolina after a second-place finish in Iowa.

GOP strategist says Trump's Iowa win doesn't guarantee N.H. victory

Jim Merrill, a prominent New Hampshire campaign strategist, said today on NBC News' "Top Story with Tom Llamas" that Trump cannot rely on the momentum of Iowa to ensure a win next week in New Hampshire.

“New Hampshire hasn’t looked to Iowa for direction on the primary. Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum — none of them did well in New Hampshire. So I think it was a good night for [Trump], but it stands alone as an Iowa night,” he said.

Merrill, who has been an adviser to multiple GOP presidential campaigns, including Sens. Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, said he believes Haley will benefit from the number of undecided voters in New Hampshire.

He also said New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is playing a key role in Haley's prospects for next week. “If you see what Chris Sununu has done for Nikki Haley since his endorsement of her six weeks or so ago, he’s not only done enormous work here on the ground ... traveling with her everywhere," Merrill said. He has also made "personal phone calls to bring people over to her team.”

DeSantis is in survival mode as Haley battles Trump in New Hampshire

MANCHESTER, N.H. — DeSantis doesn’t have to win next week’s New Hampshire primary. But he needs Haley to lose.

That’s the view inside DeSantis’ inner circle on the heels of a distant second-place showing yesterday in the Iowa caucuses, which nonetheless allowed DeSantis to say he got his “ticket punched” to continue campaigning. His 2-point margin over Haley was thinner than his advisers had hoped for but far better than the death knell of the third-place finish they had feared.

“He’s staying in,” a DeSantis supporter familiar with the campaign’s thinking told NBC News. “If Nikki loses New Hampshire — which is her best chance out of all states to win — and loses her home state of South Carolina right after, she will need to get out, and we get our two-man race.”

DeSantis advisers said the campaign is busy collecting data and plotting a post-Iowa path forward through at least the South Carolina primary in late February. At a DeSantis finance team meeting at the Surety Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, this morning, campaign manager James Uthmeier painted the picture of a difficult but manageable fundraising environment for the campaign, two sources familiar with the meeting said.

“Going to be tough sledding,” said another DeSantis supporter familiar with the thinking. “The sentiment is we have and can raise the resources to get through South Carolina.”

Read the full story here.

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who has endorsed Haley, joined "Meet the Press NOW" today to discuss Haley’s viability after the Iowa caucuses.

Trump later dinged the former Maryland governor, calling him “liberal Larry Hogan.”

Breaking down Trump’s big Iowa win

Trump won nearly every voting bloc in the Iowa Republican caucuses, according to NBC News entrance poll results, but a few key groups in particular helped lift him to a massive victory last night.

Trump’s best showing came from caucusgoers who didn’t have college degrees (67%), those who identified as very conservative (61%), those over 65 years old (58%) and white evangelicals (53%).

His showing among those groups was up from 2016, when he received support from only roughly 2 in 10 voters in each group. His support among white evangelicals alone went up 32 points, from 21% in 2016 to 53% in 2024.

Read the full story here.

DeSantis cancels New Hampshire event tonight due to snow

DeSantis’ sole public event in New Hampshire today — a town hall in Claremont with Never Back Down — has been canceled because of weather, per a spokesperson for the super PAC.

Thick snow is blanketing New Hampshire’s Upper Valley at the moment, and DeSantis is unable to make the trip because of unsafe driving conditions, the spokesperson said.

The campaign is “monitoring” the weather in the state as more snow is expected overnight. DeSantis' first stop tomorrow is in the far northern reaches of the state.

ABC News cancels New Hampshire debate

ABC News has canceled its New Hampshire primary debate after Haley said she would appear only if Trump did. The candidates had until 5 p.m. ET today to confirm, and neither of them did, meaning DeSantis would have been alone on the stage.

The debate had been scheduled for Thursday night.

"Our intent was to host a debate coming out of the Iowa caucuses, but we always knew that would be contingent on the candidates and the outcome of the race," an ABC News spokesperson said.

Haley: American has 'never been a racist country'

Haley said America has "never been a racist country" in an interview on "Fox & Friends." The comment came in response to the host's question about whether she considered the GOP to be a racist party.

"We're not a racist country, Brian," Haley said. "We've never been a racist country. Our goal is to make sure that today is better than yesterday."

"Are we perfect? No," she added.

Moments before the host's question, Fox played an MSNBC clip of Joy Reid saying she couldn't see Haley as the GOP nominee because Haley is "still a brown lady that's got to try to win in a party that is deeply anti-immigrant."

During a town hall tonight, DeSantis was asked about Haley’s comments and said that America is not racist and argued that the GOP "stands for merit and achievement and colorblindness."

"The U.S. is not a racist country, and we’ve overcome things in our history," DeSantis said during the CNN town hall in New Hampshire. "You know, I think the Founding Fathers, they established a set of principles that are universal. Now they may not have been universally applied at the time, but I think they understood what they were doing."

Progressives ask N.H. Dems to write in 'cease-fire' instead of 'Biden'

A progressive push is underway to try to send Biden a message about his Israel policy by getting voters to write in “cease-fire” on their ballots in next week’s New Hampshire Democratic primary, instead of the president’s name.

Democrats will not find Biden's name on the ballot next Tuesday because of an ongoing dispute between New Hampshire and the Democratic National Committee about who goes first in the presidential primary calendar, so while Biden allies are trying to get voters to write in his name, activists on the left see an opportunity to push him on Gaza.

VoteCeasefire, which launched quietly over the weekend on social media, will formally debut at a news conference tomorrow. The effort arose organically in recent weeks after a University of New Hampshire professor and former elected official, Andru Volinsky, floated the idea in a letter to the editor.

Progressive activists have been looking for new ways to pressure Biden on Gaza in the absence of a contested primary and saw an opportunity in New Hampshire's unusual ballot situation, the two organizers said.

“This is a much better way to cast a protest vote than supporting third party candidates who would be spoilers that are actually helping Trump. We are hoping to push President Biden AND support him (or whoever the Democratic candidate is!) to defeat Trump in November,” reads a digital flier distributed to potential supporters of the effort.

Biden has faced blowback on the left, among young voters and especially among Arab and Muslim Americans over his support for Israel. Michigan, which Democrats added to their roster of early primary states this year, includes a large proportion of Arab and Muslim American Democrats.

Inside the ‘weird’ write-in campaign needed to help Biden win New Hampshire

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Like a jilted lover reluctantly coming to the aid of a former partner in need, New Hampshire Democrats have largely decided to help Biden win their beloved primary this month — even though many are still mad he tried to kill it.

“I love Joe Biden. I think he’s just been a great president,” said former state Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan, now running a pro-Biden super PAC. “Having said that, I’m still pissed. But you compartmentalize that. You just put that aside.”

Last year, Biden tried to end New Hampshire’s 100-year reign as the nation’s first presidential primary state when he directed the Democratic National Committee to overhaul the 2024 primary calendar by putting South Carolina (which he won in 2020) ahead of New Hampshire (which he lost).

His allies are now waging what has to be one of the most unusual campaigns in American presidential history ahead of next week’s vote: a write-in campaign with a shoestring budget on behalf of the most powerful man in the world, trying to help him win a contest in which he is not technically competing and one that he would rather see not even exist.

Read the full story here.

Haley turns focus to Trump — by tying him to Biden

Haley has promised to focus her offensive on Trump as she heads into New Hampshire — and has begun doing so by tying him to Biden.

She said Trump and Biden have “more in common than you think” at her campaign’s caucus night watch party in West Des Moines, Iowa, last night. And she paired that with a new ad that launched in New Hampshire amid the weeklong sprint to the primary next Tuesday.

Haley's campaign called Trump and Biden the “two most disliked politicians in America” in a new New Hampshire ad released yesterday.

“Trump and Biden are both about 80 years old. Trump and Biden both put our country trillions of dollars deeper in debt, and our kids will never forgive them,” Haley told attendees at her final Iowa event. “Trump and Biden both lack a vision for our country’s future because both are consumed by the past — by investigations, by vendettas, by grievances.”

More focus on Trump means less on DeSantis, as her campaign tries to frame the primary as a “two-person race” between Haley and Trump, despite her narrow third-place finish in Iowa’s caucuses.

Haley said this morning she will not participate in ABC News’ New Hampshire Republican primary debate unless Trump commits to being on the stage.

Zelenskyy on a potential second Trump term: 'Just one man cannot change the whole nation'

“Just one man cannot change the whole nation — that is my belief," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, today when he was asked about the prospects of Trump’s becoming president again.

“This is a choice for the American nation, only the American nation,” he said. “Ukraine will work with whoever is elected."

Still, he said that "radical voices really scare the society in Ukraine,” noting that he wasn't referring just to Trump but to “the voices of a significant part of Republicans."

Asked for his message to American voters Zelensky said, “We need peace in the world. That means peace in Ukraine.”

John Heilemann breaks down the outcome of the Iowa caucuses and what it means for DeSantis and Haley.

Haley says she is 'going after Trump,' DeSantis 'invisible' in New Hampshire

Haley said on CNN that her focus now is "going after Trump."

Haley has made the shift in her campaign clear post-Iowa, moving her attention away from DeSantis and toward Trump. Haley said DeSantis is “invisible” in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and therefore no longer her concern.

"[DeSantis] is not my concern," Haley said. "I'm going after Trump."

Haley also said she told ABC News that she would only participate in the next Republican primary debate if Trump is on the stage, echoing comments she made to NBC on Sunday.

If he’s on that stage, I’m there," she said of the former president.

ABC News has set their deadline for candidates to commit to the New Hampshire debate by 5 p.m.

Haley, DeSantis and allies spent more than $1,000 per vote in Iowa

Nearly $124 million was spent on ads in Iowa through Monday’s caucuses, according to the ad-tracking firm AdImpact. But the candidates got a relatively small number of votes for those millions, with the frigid caucuses seeing the lowest turnout for a competitive contest since 2000.

An analysis of ad spending and vote totals finds that candidates who finished toward the bottom of the field spent more money per vote than their rivals.  

Pastor Ryan Binkley's long-shot campaign spent the most money on ads per vote — $3,990 — since he earned only 774 caucus votes after spending nearly $3.1 million on ads.  

The next highest cost-per-vote came from former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, whose campaign and allied super PAC, SFA Fund Inc., spent a combined $36.2 million on ads. Haley ended up with nearly 22,000 votes, translating to $1,717 spent per vote.  

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign and multiple allied outside groups spent $1,499 for each vote that he earned in the GOP caucuses, where he secured second place with more than 23,000 votes.   

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who ended up in fourth place with nearly 8,500 votes, did not spend nearly as much on ads as his rivals, and ended up spending $484 on ads for each vote he received. (Ramaswamy spent a fair amount of money on other things during the campaign, but ad spending is the most consistent way to compare the candidates at this point.)

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign and his super PAC, MAGA Inc, spent a combined $18.5 million on ads in Iowa, translating to $329 per vote. Trump won the caucuses with support from more than 56,000 caucusgoers.  

New poll shows Haley with widest lead over Biden

A national online CBS/YouGov poll tested hypothetical matchups between President Joe Biden and the top GOP presidential candidates. This survey was conducted before the Iowa caucuses on Monday. Haley’s lead over Biden is outside the survey’s margin of error and is consistent with other surveys showing her overperforming in a hypothetical race against Biden.

Among roughly 1,900 likely voters across the country, the survey shows Trump with 50% to Biden's 48%, within the 3.1% margin of error. DeSantis received 51% to Biden’s 48%, while a hypothetical Haley-Biden matchup shows the South Carolina governor on top, 53% to 45%.

Iowa Gov. Reynolds, who endorsed DeSantis, says she'd support Trump if he wins nomination

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds yesterday signaled that she would get behind Trump if he wins the GOP presidential nomination, despite being a target of attacks by the former president after she announced her endorsement of DeSantis in November. 

In an interview on Fox Business hours before Trump was projected to win the Iowa caucuses yesterday, Reynolds said she has “made it clear” that she would support the eventual GOP nominee.

“I’m a Republican and, you know, all of the candidates running are going to be better than what we have,” Reynolds said, referring to President Joe Biden.

“Even after all the stuff he’s said about you?” Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto asked.

“Yeah well, because you know, we’ve got to win,” Reynolds said.

Pressed on who she’d vote for if Trump and Biden go head to head in the general election, Reynolds said she is “on record” saying that she will support the eventual GOP nominee. 

“I’m a Republican, and we need to make sure that we don’t re-elect President Biden for another four years,” she said.

During her announcement of her endorsement of DeSantis in November, Reynolds touted the Florida governor’s accomplishments as she said she believes Trump can’t win the general election.

Trump began hurling insults at Reynolds in July for declining to endorse a candidate at the time and over her close ties with DeSantis.

NBC News’ Steve Kornacki breaks down the results from the Iowa caucuses, which found former President Trump winning with 51% of the vote and Gov. Ron DeSantis coming in a distant second.

DeSantis celebrates second place finish at S.C. rally, trashes Haley

At a rally this morning in Greenville, South Carolina, DeSantis touted his distant second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, repeating his comments that his campaign "punched our ticket out of Iowa."

A couple hundred South Carolinians attended the event in an airplane hangar — and DeSantis' stump was very well received, especially his comments celebrating last night’s election results.

He addressed comments by his campaign officials deeming the media's early evening call in Iowa "election interference." DeSantis walked the claims back slightly saying, "I certainly am not suggesting that somehow the order would have changed," but that "maybe there would have been a percent or two" difference if the call had not been made while caucusing was ongoing.

He took the time to take a dig at his closest challenger, joking: "By debating Gavin Newsom, you know, I needed practice debating somebody who’s almost as liberal as Nikki Haley." His comment drew cheers from the audience.

Haley campaign gears up as Trump world vows to go after her ‘reputation and image’

A new dynamic is unfolding in the presidential primaries, with both Donald Trump’s and Nikki Haley’s campaigns shifting to one-on-one combat as the race charges to the next phase with an expected competitive contest in New Hampshire.

It could get ugly fast.

Team Trump is readying to unleash a level of vitriol against Haley, Trump's former U.N. ambassador, that she hasn’t yet seen, according to several of the former president’s advisers and allies. 

“Nikki should get out while people still talk about her for 2028, or she’ll end up like all the 2016s that nobody thinks of as future presidents anymore,” a Trump campaign adviser said. “A protracted ground war will cost us our money, but it will cost Nikki her reputation and image.” 

But Haley, too, is moving more aggressively against Trump, already characterizing the race as a choice between an aged politician drowning in old grievances and a new face who promises generational change and stability. Though she came in third in Iowa on Monday, she declared the contest a two-person race between herself and Trump.

“[T]he field of candidates is effectively down to two, with only Trump and Nikki Haley having substantial support in both New Hampshire and South Carolina,” Betsy Ankney, Haley’s campaign manager, said in a memo responding to the Iowa results.

Read the full story here.

DeSantis: We made 'an impression' in Iowa

In his first post-Iowa interview, DeSantis tells NBC News that his campaign made "an impression" in the state.

"We, obviously, came in second," DeSantis said, in an interview in Greenville, South Carolina. But he argued that he's viewed "favorably" among the broader GOP electorate, while he said Haley is “really relying on non-Republicans."

"What we did in Iowa, we did make an impression. ... I had people come up to me saying, 'I love you, man. I’m gonna do Trump this time and do you next time.' That’s not what I wanted to hear. But, being there, we did make an impression."

On Trump, DeSantis said, “of course he’s formidable,” but argued that there is an appetite for a non-Trump candidate.

DeSantis says Haley is 'afraid to debate'

DeSantis responded to Haley's comment that going forward from the Iowa caucuses she would only debate Donald Trump or Joe Biden, saying Haley is "afraid to debate because she doesn’t want to answer the tough questions."

The Florida governor accused Haley of getting "rich off Boeing after giving them millions in taxpayer handouts as governor of South Carolina," in his tweet on his X account, and repeated his claim that Haley "is not running for the nomination, she’s running to be Trump’s VP."

"I won’t snub New Hampshire voters like both Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, and plan to honor my commitments. I look forward to debating two empty podiums in the Granite State this week," DeSantis wrote on X.

The debate was to be hosted by ABC News on Thursday night at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. An ABC News spokesperson said the network and its local station, WMUR-TV, have given the Haley and Trump campaigns until 5 p.m. ET today to say whether they will take part in the planned debate and "will update our plans accordingly.”

Asa Hutchinson drops out of the 2024 presidential race

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday that he is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, dropping out after failing to register in the Iowa caucuses.

Hutchinson notched 0.2% of the vote in Monday’s caucuses, finishing a distant fifth after an anti-Trump campaign that did not gain traction for the veteran Republican in the new GOP.

“My message of being a principled Republican with experience and telling the truth about the current front-runner did not sell in Iowa,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “I stand by the campaign I ran.”

Hutchinson spent much of his campaign on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire, where he was a vocal critic of Trump, even suggesting that the former president might be disqualified from running in 2024 under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which has a provision barring candidates who have engaged in insurrection. 

“Whenever you’re looking at four indictments, and the fact that not everybody can recite what each of those indictments entail, they know this is not good for our country, and that no one under that kind of pressure can lead our country, particularly with a mindset that he wants to get revenge as the next president,” Hutchinson said last year in an interview with NBC News. “And so if anyone should drop out, it should be Donald Trump.”

Read the full story here.

"Meet the Press" moderator Kristen Welker and NBC’s Steve Kornacki join "TODAY" to discuss former President Donald Trump’s major win in the Iowa caucuses and what the paths forward means for Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.

Republicans hit the post-Iowa campaign trail

DeSantis kicks off the day with a morning event in Greenville, S.C., before heading to New Hampshire for a meet-and-greet and a CNN town hall.

Trump is set to deliver remarks in Atkinson, N.H., while Haley is scheduled to hold a rally in Bretton Woods, N.H.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Dean Phillips, of Minnesota, will hold a trio of events in New Hampshire.

Haley campaign says she will debate only if Trump takes part

Nikki Haley challenged Donald Trump to start debating as she heads to New Hampshire after finishing just behind DeSantis in the Iowa caucuses.

“We’ve had five great debates in this campaign,” Nikki Haley said in a statement released by her campaign. “Unfortunately, Donald Trump has ducked all of them. He has nowhere left to hide. The next debate I do will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden. I look forward to it.”

ABC News was planning to host the next GOP candidate debate Thursday night at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Trump has consistently refused to take part in any of the Republican primary debates.

Trump attends start of new Carroll trial after Iowa caucuses

Trump is attending the start of the new Carroll civil damages trial today.

He traveled from Des Moines, Iowa, to New York City following the state’s caucuses that NBC News projected he won last night.

The trial centers on a defamation case brought by Carroll, a magazine writer who accused the former president of raping her in the 1990s, then defaming her when she went public with her allegations.

New York jury last year found Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming Carroll. She was awarded $5 million in damages in May. The jury did not find Trump liable for the rape allegations.

The second trial, starting today, involves Trump’s public comments about Carroll that he made both while he was president and after the jury’s verdict in May.

Read the full story here.

Takeaways from the Iowa caucuses: Trump benefits from fierce, distant fight for second

DES MOINES, Iowa — The fight for second fiddle plays on, but the Iowa caucuses were full of hints that the music will eventually stop for candidates not named Donald Trump.

In the short term, the former president won a bonus on top of his commanding first-place finish: Because his two leading rivals finished so close to each other for runner-up in Iowa, the war between DeSantis and Haley promises to continue into New Hampshire and beyond.

DeSantis signaled his intention to stick it out earlier by planning a visit today to South Carolina — which holds its primary more than a month from now. His second-place Iowa finish will only reinforce that decision, giving his team and allies an argument to raise more money. But the margin was too close for comfort or joy.

Haley, who had less riding on her performance in Iowa, missed a chance to knock DeSantis out. Still, she is turning to much friendlier terrain in New Hampshire, where some polling shows her within shouting distance of Trump.

But the potential seeds of destruction for each of Trump’s opponents were planted beneath the ice-covered cornfields of this state. They are among the four takeaways from what may be the last first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.

Read the full story here.