The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Ramaswamy suspends campaign after dismal Iowa Republican caucuses results

Ramaswamy announced his endorsement of Trump and the “America first” campaign.
Grace Smith
Liliana Corbett adjusts merchandise during a campaign event for Republican Presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024. Ramaswamy spoke to over a hundred supporters about his values and ideas on topics involving veteran care, climate change, and the First Amendment.

DES MOINES — Ohio biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy suspended his campaign following lackluster Iowa caucus results Monday night. 

In a crowded room at the Surety Hotel in Des Moines, the GOP candidate announced the suspension of his presidential campaign and gave his endorsement to the winner of the caucuses, former President Donald Trump. 

Finishing fourth in Iowa, Ramaswamy received 7.7 percent of the vote with more than 90 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. 

Ramaswamy told the crowd of supporters — who gathered at his caucus event despite the frigid temperatures — that he did not expect to withdraw from the race, but feels “at peace” with the decision. 

I don’t believe that I should be remaining in the race if there’s not a path to myself becoming the nominee,” Ramaswamy said onstage. “I have a responsibility to this country to do the right thing. We’ve suspended the campaign.”

Ramaswamy said he called Trump to congratulate him on his victory and would appear with the GOP frontrunner tomorrow at a rally in New Hampshire and is expected to join Trump on his campaign.

“It is not about me. It’s not about Trump, it’s about this country,” he said. “And so who’s going to be the best vehicle to advance that agenda forward right now? That’s Donald Trump. And he has my full support for that reason.”  

Trump returned the favor and congratulated Ramaswamy in a statement at his event in Des Moines. 

“I want to congratulate Vivek because he did a hell of a job. He came from zero and he has a big percent, probably 8 percent, and that’s an amazing job,” Trump said. 

Ramaswamy left his campaign shaking hands and exchanging kind words with his supporters. 

He told voters that he would continue to fight for them and for America, vowing to complete his campaign promises, including shutting down 75 percent of the federal government. 

“To be honest with you, the best way I could have done it is as your next president,” Ramaswamy said. “But that’s not our choice, that doesn’t belong to us, that belongs to the people of this country.” 

Born and raised in Ohio, Ramaswamy was a political outsider in the race with a background in business and pharmaceuticals as the founder of Roivant Sciences. Ramaswamy has run his campaign on the premise of “truth,” and has repeatedly told voters he is willing to tell them things other candidates are afraid to. 

Ramaswamy led longshot candidates

Ramaswamy led among three longshot candidates vying for the GOP presidential nomination but trailed three Republican rivals in the Iowa caucuses. 

The only candidates Ramaswamy bested were Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Texas businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley, each finishing with less than 1 percent of the vote.

Incredibly low poll numbers kept the two candidates off all five of the Republican primary debate stages. Binkley’s poll numbers didn’t reach above 0 percent until earlier this month. 

Ramaswamy’s numbers kept him out of the “race for second place” between candidates former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with 19 percent and 21 percent, respectively. 

First-time caucusgoers voice support for Ramaswamy

Caucusgoers ventured to sites across Des Moines in the bitter cold, facing subzero temperatures to voice their political preferences. 

First-time caucusgoer Brad Farnsworth, 44, of West Des Moines, said he was drawn to Ramaswamy for his “America first” approach and liked Ramaswamy for his honesty after getting to meet him in person.

“I believe he’s very genuine about how he feels, and I think that what he’s doing is trying to do is actually make America better,” Farnsworth said. 

Gabe Conley, a physician from Des Moines, said he originally did not trust Ramaswamy, but after reading two of his books, meeting him in person, and watching his debates, Conley became a precinct captain for the entrepreneur.

Conley said Ramaswamy would be a strong candidate in future presidential races, and his exposure and connections made throughout this campaign would help him in a future campaign. 

“I think he’s the future of the Republican Party,” Conley said. 

 Other caucusgoers lined up their second choice for the Republican 2024 presidential nominee. 

Sean Murphy, 34, of Oxford, Iowa, said Ramaswamy not doing well in the caucuses was a very likely scenario, and DeSantis is his second choice. 

Monday night was Murphy’s first Republican caucus. Registered as a Democrat in the 2020 election, he wanted to see the caucus process from the other side of the political spectrum. 

Murphy said he has never voted for a Democratic candidate and returned to the Republican party to participate in the Republican caucus because there’s more competition among the GOP. 

“I don’t see a world in which I don’t vote for a Republican in this election. But I would keep an open mind. I guess something could happen,” Murphy said.

Anshul Garg, of New York, brought his children on vacation to Iowa to show them the importance of the caucus. 

Garg said it was very difficult to explain what a caucus is to his son, but now the young boy understands the concept. 

“This is a very unique, American thing I think we have to be proud of,” Garg said. 

Ramaswamy disregarded low poll numbers leading to caucus

Despite heavy campaigning through the Hawkeye State ahead of the caucuses Monday, including renting an apartment in Des Moines and twice completing a tour of all 99 Iowa counties, also known as the “Full Grassley” after Iowa U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Ramaswamy languished with single-digit numbers in polls.

Ramaswamy dismissed his less-than-optimal polls leading up to the caucus. 

In the final Iowa poll by A Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom, Ramaswamy received 8 percent support from likely caucus-goers, led by all of his opponents except Hutchinson and Binkley, each with 1 percent. 

He attempted to court younger voters by hosting “free speech and free drinks” during his campaign tours in Iowa. 

Murphy, a caucusgoer from Oxford, Iowa, described the president hopeful as friendly and said he appreciates Ramaswamy’s willingness to openly engage with people.

“He’s gone to media across the board, whether it’s Fox News or some obscure podcast, he’s kind of just taken on everything,” Murphy said. “He’ll stand and he’ll answer questions, whether you like his answers or not.”

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About the Contributors
Roxy Ekberg, News Reporter
Roxy Ekberg is a first year at the University of Iowa. In the Honors Program, she is double majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in Spanish. Prior to her role as a politics reporter, she worked news reporter at the Daily Iowan and worked at her local newspaper The Wakefield Republican.
Grace Smith, Senior photojournalist and filmmaker
Grace Smith is a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic Arts. In her four years at The Daily Iowan, she has held the roles of photo editor, managing summer editor, and visual storyteller. Outside of The Daily Iowan, Grace has held an internship at The Denver Post and pursued freelance assignments for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Des Moines Register.