Donald Trump barely campaigned in Iowa, insulted its most prominent evangelical leader, and still won last night’s caucus by a historic margin. Joe Biden better have something stronger to offer in the general election than “I’m not Trump.”

By Branko Marcetic, Jacobin

For the past three years, the Democratic Party has carried out a full-court press with the singular goal of undermining Donald Trump’s chances of being renominated: the yearslong media and congressional spectacles around January 6, the series of criminal indictments against Trump, even the recent attempts to use the courts to boot him off the ballot in several states. Instead, Trump’s support within the GOP has only grown, sometimes seemingly directly because of these efforts.

trump wins in iowa headlines on phone

With Trump’s whopping victory in last night’s Iowa caucuses, the Democrats might want to finally ask themselves if they need a strategy for the former president’s political defeat, instead of formulating more ways to find a cheat code to avoid one.

Trump won by 30 points last night, leaving his two closest challengers scrapping it out for a very distant second place, with his 51 percent of the vote outdoing already rosy preelection polling. That margin of victory is nearly three times the widest of previous GOP winners in Iowa: Bob Dole beat TV pastor Pat Robertson by 12 points in 1988, when neither ended up winning the nomination; George W. Bush triumphed by 11 points in 2000 in a thin field that saw millionaire publisher Steve Forbes take second; and Mike Huckabee beat runner-up Mitt Romney by 9 points in 2008, in another race where the eventual Republican nominee was one of the contest’s also-rans. Trump prevailed in every single county but one, where he lost by a single vote.

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