Biden accepts he will likely face Trump
US President Joe Biden has described former President Donald Trump as “the clear front runner” on the Republican side, after Trump scored a resounding victory at the GOP’s Iowa caucus.
Trump won 51% of the popular vote and secured the support of 20 Republican delegates in the first Republican primary of the 2024 presidential race on Monday. His margin of victory was the largest in the history of the Iowa caucus, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley coming a distant second and third place with 21% and 19% of the vote respectively.
“Looks like Donald Trump just won Iowa,” Biden’s team posted on X (formerly Twitter) after the results were announced. “He’s the clear front runner on the other side at this point.”
“But here’s the thing: this election was always going to be you and me vs. extreme MAGA Republicans,” Biden’s post continued. “It was true yesterday and it’ll be true tomorrow.”
Trump has maintained a commanding lead in the polls over his Republican rivals since he announced his campaign in November 2022, and most pundits and commentators have treated his nomination as a foregone conclusion.
Biden’s campaign has also focused its messaging on Trump, with the president’s first campaign ad of the year accusing the Republican frontrunner of trying to “erode American democracy and excuse — and even promote — political violence,” over images of the January 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill. In a speech delivered after the ad came out earlier this month, Biden addressed Trump by name more than 40 times, describing him as a threat to democracy itself.
Trump called the speech a “pathetic fear mongering campaign event,” and slammed Biden’s “unbroken streak of weakness, incompetence, corruption, and failure.”
Trump is currently leading Haley by 44% to 28% ahead of next week’s New Hampshire primary, according to a recent Emerson College poll that shows former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and DeSantis in a distant third and fourth place. Trump also holds a two-to-one lead over Haley in her home state of South Carolina, where the third primary of the season will be held, according to an average of multiple polls combined by FiveThirtyEight.
Most polls currently show Trump beating Biden by a narrow margin of between one and five points in a head-to-head showdown.
However, Trump faces multiple legal challenges that could impede his ability to campaign. The former president is fighting two federal cases – concerning his alleged instigation of the Capitol Hill riot and his alleged mishandling of classified documents – as well as two state-level cases and a multitude of civil suits. He has dismissed the federal indictments as a “pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family” to take him out of the race for the White House.