Conservative GOP senators call for party to rally behind Trump following Iowa victory

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Conservatives in the upper chamber are rallying behind former President Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee after a landslide victory in the Iowa caucuses on Monday.

“Trump’s victory tonight showcases once again the changing GOP base,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “This is a working class party now. The DC Republicans need to figure it out.”

Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a former football coach, wrote on X: “Can we stop pretending this is an actual primary race and get to the business of defeating Joe Biden?”

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said, “It’s not going to be easy to defeat Joe Biden,” in a post on X, adding “we need all hands on deck.”

In another post, Lee congratulated Trump for his swift victory in Iowa.

TRUMP WINS MASSIVE VICTORY IN IOWA, DESANTIS EDGES HALEY FOR SECOND IN 1ST GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATING CONTEST

“Trump’s victory tonight showcases once again the changing GOP base,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wrote on X. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

“Beating Joe Biden won’t be easy. But it’s absolutely necessary. No other Republican has a shot at the nomination. It’s therefore imperative that Republicans start getting behind Trump. No time to lose,” he wrote.

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., also celebrated Trump’s win in a post, saying: “We are going to make America great again, AGAIN,” and using the hashtag #TRUMP2024.

Meanwhile, the upper chamber’s GOP leader, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., remained quiet on the results. 

Leading up to the Iowa caucuses, more GOP senators began throwing their support behind Trump. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., endorsed Trump just hours after North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum dropped out and endorsed the former president. They joined nearly two dozen GOP senators in endorsing Trump, including Sens. JD Vance of Ohio, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rick Scott of Florida, Josh Hawley and Eric Schmitt of Missouri, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

TRUMP PICKS UP MORE SENATE GOP ENDORSEMENTS

Mike Lee

Sen. Mike Lee during a nomination hearing in Washington, D.C., on May 17, 2023. (Cheriss May/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Fox News Decision Desk made the race projection for Trump at 8:31 p.m. ET, a half an hour after the caucuses got underway across the Hawkeye State.

The former president’s lightning-fast win in Iowa gave him a crucial early victory in his bid to return to the White House. His rivals for the nomination still include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who came in a distant second in the Iowa caucuses, nearly 30 points behind Trump, and former Ambassador Nikki Haley, who came in third – close behind DeSantis.

“We want to thank the great people of Iowa,” Trump said in a caucus victory speech in Des Moines, the state’s capital and largest city.

Trump made history last year as the first former or current president to be indicted for a crime, but his four indictments, including charges he tried to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss, have only fueled his support among Republican voters.

Trump’s victory on Monday night was the largest margin in the history of Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses, easily surpassing the previous winning margin of 12.8 percent set in 1988 by the late Sen. Bob Dole.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report. 

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