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Déjà Vu…

by Jonathan van Bilsen

I do not often touch on political issues in this column, but having watched the republican caucuses in Iowa last week, I must say, I am flabbergasted by the way things work down there. It appears every state has an opportunity to vote for the Republican candidate and Iowa was the first. The results were shocking.

Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, wants to be president, and decided to give it all he had in Iowa. Being the first caucuses, he wanted to hit the ground running. Boy did that backfire.

DeSantis campaigned in every county, well beyond his opponents, Nikki Haley and Donald Trump (He made no appearances, to speak of). Fast forward to January 15th and after a few hours, Trump ends up with 51 percent of the vote, Nikki Haley at 19 percent and Ron DeSantis at 21 percent. There was a fourth candidate, who dropped out, Vivek Ramaswamy, and endorsed Trump.

Initially 51 percent sounds high, but in realty it is only one third of the votes. If there were only two candidates, the race would be neck and neck, but it is not the case. Digging a little deeper reveals the scary truth. Trump won in every single county in Iowa: rural, urban and suburban. He was expected to win the less educated vote, but instead took the business people, the suburbanites, and virtually everyone else.

Ironically, the person who won, a short four years ago, lost the presidential election, triggered a riot, was twice impeached, and was noted as the most damaged person in American politics. Being acquitted of wrongdoings allowed Trump to run again, and he is.

The cold weather in Iowa did not work against Trump. His people have said all along, ‘The better the weather the more Trump supporters will come out.’ Again, not the case, and only half of the 220,000 voters came out.

DeSantis is now playing catch up. He is so far behind Trump, and, unfortunately, the next state to vote is New Hampshire, a state where DeSantis does not expect to do well.

All in all, this makes for a very interesting future, watching from the Canadian sidelines. Surprisingly, Donald Trump has not only won a major victory but he won by so much, his two opponents are left fighting over second place. Obviously, I do not endorse any particular candidate but from an entertainment element, the next 287 days will make for interesting news.

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube.

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