After a record-breaking win in Iowa, is Trump's march to the Republican nomination inevitable?

Words and video report by ITV News US Correspondent Dan Rivers and Washington News Editor Jonathan Wald

The results came faster than ever before and with the greatest margin in history.

The US networks declared Donald Trump had won the Iowa Caucuses in just over half an hour, while most votes hadn’t even been counted.

He secured slightly more than half the votes, underscoring his seemingly inevitable march to the Republican nomination.

Trump won 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties, losing only Johnson County to Nikki Haley by a single vote.

Polls indicated Haley was the most likely runner-up. Ultimately she came third to DeSantis by a couple of percent points.

Expectations had been raised she might deal DeSantis a fatal blow here in Iowa and knock him out before the next State to vote - New Hampshire in a week.

Now both DeSantis and Haley will take their fight on to the Granite State.

Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis took third and second place in the Iowa caucus Credit: AP

But there Haley is polling far higher than DeSantis and is within striking distance of Donald Trump while DeSantis, who bet everything on Iowa is going to skip New Hampshire and concentrate on South Carolina in a month.

While the battle for second is intriguing for political obsessives, there is no denying the commanding lead Donald Trump has in many states.

The Iowa result could hardly have been better for Trump - not only did he beat his nearest challenger by 30 percentage points but while his two main rivals remain in the race, his opposition will be split and he is even more likely to enjoy an unobstructed path to the Republican nomination.

In some places, particularly in the south like Texas or Tennessee, he is polling even higher than he was in Iowa well over 60 or 70%.

It’s difficult to imagine any circumstance in which he doesn’t secure the Republican nomination, and turn 2024 into a rematch against Joe Biden.

We watched Caucus night in the town of Adel, where Trump supporters were vocal and advocates for Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Asa Hutchinson (yes he’s still running) didn’t even turn up.

You didn’t need to count the votes here to know who’d won. You could hear it in the cheers for Donald Trump at the mere mention of his name.

After hearing three minute speeches for the candidates who had someone to make their case, residents split into the precinct communities and heard more short speeches before casting their vote.

That was simply done by writing the name of their preferred candidate on a slip of paper and dropping it into a brown paper bag. Democracy in its simplest form.

What is ironic is most chose the man accused of attempting to overturn the last election, to contest the next.

The same man who boasted he’d only be a dictator on his first day.

The same man who has vowed to exact revenge on his political enemies.

The same man who might pull America out of NATO and push for an end to support for Ukraine.

Some think the United States is sleep-walking towards autocracy. Last night did little to shake it from its trance.

Trump: The Return will stream on ITV1 tonight at 9pm.

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