Republican opponents try to cut Trump's lead in Iowa for the last time

Trump and his Republican opponents are making desperate efforts to gain support in Iowa hours before the 2024 presidential election begins in the state.

Candidates are hosting their final events, but the final days of campaigning have been complicated by the freezing temperatures.

An overwhelming triumph in Iowa would solidify the position of Mr. Trump as the leading candidate. Conversely, his adversaries are striving to position themselves as the primary contenders challenging the former president.

On Monday evening, Republican voters will convene at over 1,500 caucus sites throughout the Midwestern state to declare their presidential candidate of choice.

In an effort to ensure that all voters participate in the election despite the extremely low temperatures (approximately -30C (-20F)), which has been endorsed by each candidate, there are concerns that the weather may reduce voter turnout.

The race will then progress state by state until a nominee is chosen who will almost certainly face Joe Biden in the general election of November.

Iowa's track record in determining the eventual Republican nominee is inconsistent, with no such occasion occurring since 2000, when the state's electorate supported George W. Bush.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump organised a rally in the city of Indianola, where he urged his supporters to participate.  The 77-year-old former president is aiming to defeat his opponents by a significant margin and deliver a fatal blow. "We intend to establish new benchmarks," he declared on Friday during a virtual rally.

His campaign has heavily depended on its ground strategy, whereby recurring "commit to caucus" events function as trial runs in anticipation of the main event on Monday.

At these events, where "caucus captains" recruit Iowans by pounding on doors, an animated video demonstrating how to caucus is frequently shown; this demonstrates how Mr. Trump hopes to rally first-time voters and secure a decisive victory.

Saturday night, a final poll indicated that Trump held a nearly 30-point lead, which bolstered the campaign's hopes for a decisive victory.

Nikki Haley, the former United States ambassador to the United Nations, surged to second place in the closely followed poll after gaining ground in recent days.

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, who has allocated significant resources towards Iowa, had fallen to the third position. If Mr. DeSantis performs poorly on Monday, he will be under pressure to withdraw, and the outcome could prove decisive for his campaign.

Haley's campaign would gain vital momentum headed into the upcoming election in New Hampshire, where she is polling within ten percentage points of Mr. Trump, with a strong finish in the state. The following contest will be held in South Carolina, her native state and the location of her two terms as governor.

Securing victory in one of these early states would significantly bolster Ms. Haley's standing as the sole feasible contender to the outgoing president, presumably instigating a substantial influx of donations and support.

During the concluding lap around Iowa, Ms. Haley emphasised her call to action once more, imploring voters to abandon the "chaos" caused by Mr. Trump. "A decision must be made," she declared to her supporters in Cedar Falls. "You possess the choice to either reflect on the past and proceed, or to move forward and embark on a fresh beginning."