As the ballots conceded former President Trump as the winner of the Iowa caucus, ITV News' correspondent Robert Moore takes a deep dive into voting behaviour across the Midwest
In Iowa last night, Donald Trump won big, crushing his nearest Republican rivals.
The former president faces multiple criminal charges and stands accused of being an insurrectionist - he might be in jail by the time of the next election - but he still triumphed in the first test of his popularity among republican voters.
But something even stranger is happening in the American heartland. It should send a shiver down the spine of America’s liberal elite.
Many of President Biden’s natural voters appear to be turning away from him in droves. It opens the door to a Trump return that could cause global turmoil.
After weeks of travelling across the Midwest for a new ITV1 documentary, we discovered that support for Joe Biden is falling sharply.
Disillusioned Democrats are contemplating a vote for Trump again. The president’s approval rating has just hit an all-time low of 33 percent.
The dashboard in the White House should be flashing red. We have been speaking with key groups of voters across the Midwest.
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African American Voters in Chicago
On the streets of Chicago, I stumbled on something startling. Many African Americans are turning against Biden. This is the constituency of voters that helped him to win the 2020 election.
But now these voters are watching illegal migrants arriving in droves in the northern heartlands.
Impoverished and struggling inner-city black communities are competing for resources with migrants largely from Venezuela.
As a result, African Americans voters are defecting. In 2020, 92 percent of black voters supported Biden.
Now polls suggest as many as 25 percent may vote for Trump in the key Midwestern states, an historic shift in loyalties.
The City of Chicago agrees that the migrant crisis is putting severe pressure on limited resources, officials pleading for further support from the White House.
And Joe Biden also acknowledges the urgency of the situation and says he is determined to address the problem.
Arab-Americans in Michigan
Many Arab-Americans - whose political identity was forged in the red-hot ferment of BLM and anti-war protests - now see Biden as a traitor to their cause.
His unconditional support for Israel in the Gaza war appalls many of these progressive voters.
At a vigil for victims of the conflict in Gaza, a Democrat and a former activist for Biden is Dr. Mohammad Alam. His fury with the White House is so great he says he will now switch to Donald Trump.
Many American Muslims feel profoundly let down by President Biden's actions in the Middle East, ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore reports
Geno DiFabio is a voter in Youngstown, Ohio.
Formerly a Democrat, DiFabio voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and continues to support the former President.
Asked whether the criminal charges against Donald Trump give him pause for thought, Geno says: "I don’t care. I don’t believe any of this is real what they’re doing to him. It will be someone they tried to persecute and he’ll be a hero of the people again."
Trump’s legal challenges appear to have done little damage to his reputation.
Former Trump Officials
But even as we discover deep disillusionment among Democrats in the Midwest, one of Trump’s former advisers tells ITV that his return to power would be a complete catastrophe for the US and the western alliance.
Miles Taylor was a national security official in the Trump first term. He says that Britain should be ready “to batten down the hatches” at the end of the year if Trump wins. He believes that assassinations and civil war are possible.
Taylor reveals to ITV that in the first Trump term the former president wanted to set up a group of mercenaries, along the lines of Russia’s Wagner group.
Taylor says that in a second term Trump will surround himself with ultra loyalists and succeed in creating a private army loyal only to the president.
Miles Taylor reveals to ITV that in the first Trump term the former president wanted to set up a group of mercenaries, along the lines of Russia’s Wagner group
After the Iowa vote, the frozen prairies of the Midwest have warmed the hearts of Trump’s army of loyalists. It leaves America more divided than ever.
Democrats insist that Trump deserves to be behind bars in a federal prison.
Republicans say he should be back in the Oval Office.
And if what I’ve seen over recent months is anything to go by, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for Trump’s return.
Robert Moore’s documentary, Trump: The Return?, is on ITV1 and ITVX tonight at 9pm.
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