I’m not sure why anyone pays attention to the Iowa caucuses anymore, considering its Republican voters have only picked their Party’s eventual presidential nominee twice since the 1960s, and only one of those went on to win the general election. But Iowa is the time-honored kickoff to the quadrennial American presidential passion play regardless, and one must observe the conventions and traditions that make the country what it is.
That said, it does appear the Hawkeye State has indeed plumped for the likely GOP nominee in 2024, with Donald Trump garnering a commanding 51% of the vote at the caucus held on January 15th. That figure seems decisive, and indeed, it does constitute a record showing for a presidential candidate who is not a current incumbent.
But if we peel back the layers on this onion, Iowa doesn’t really look all that good for Trump. For one thing, only 14% of the eligible electorate bothered to show up to vote, a staggeringly small percentage, displaying negligible enthusiasm for the outcome, doubtless further diminished by the extreme cold weather conditions. And while 51% is a clear majority, the corollary is that almost half of the voters preferred someone other than Trump, with that field split among three leading candidates. Think about that – the most recent Republican president, current leader of the Party and essentially an incumbent, was unable to do better amongst his own voters than barely half of 14% of those eligible to vote. Not an overwhelming show of support, by any means!
The result, in general terms, was a foregone conclusion, with Trump polling miles ahead of his competitors throughout 2023. The real drama in Iowa was centered on the race for second place, where Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley battled it out to emerge as the Trump alternative going forward. A late surge by Haley was insufficient to supplant DeSantis, who finished with 21% of the vote to Haley’s 19%, essentially a dead heat. Business entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy rounded out the field with nearly 8%.
Of course the skies well-reflected the reality on the ground, as always. Donald Trump’s victory is expressed as asteroid Troemper 28130 at 16 Pisces, which is exactly inconjunct asteroid Victoria 12 at 16 Libra, named for the Roman goddess of victory (and the root of our word). Troemper is also squared asteroid Whitehouse 4036 at 11 Gemini, indicating his goal, and semisquare to a pairing of asteroid Nike 307 (Victoria’s Greek counterpart) and Jupiter (ruling politics) at 3 and 5 Taurus. As well, asteroid Donn 4689 at 8 Capricorn is an exact match for Mars, also conjoined Mercury at 1 Capricorn. This grouping shows the Trump (Donn) campaign’s (Mars) energetic (also Mars) ground game, in getting its supporters out to vote (Mercury). Donn also squares Victoria, for a reiteration of the “winning” vibe.
But as noted, first place was no surprise, and most pundit eyes were focused on Nikki Haley, who had eked past Ron DeSantis in recent polling, and has come within striking distance of Trump in polling for the following week’s New Hampshire primary. This focus on Haley is seen as a T-Square from the highlighting Sun at 24 Capricorn, conjunct power broker Pluto at 29 Cap, opposed asteroid Halle 85196 (for Haley) at 26 Cancer, in a T-Square with asteroid Halley 2688 (also for Haley) at 26 Aries, putting Nikki Haley doubly in the spotlight.
But the solar focus wasn’t quite enough for the former UN Ambassador, caught in the crosshairs by asteroid Nicky 4755 (phonetic match for Nikki) at 23 Sagittarius, on the fulcrum of a T-Square with a stationary asteroid NOT 2857 at 26 Virgo opposed Neptune at 25 Pisces. NOT functions as a general disqualifier or symbol of inability to proceed, while Neptune governs dreams and aspirations, but also disappointment. With this configuration, Haley (Nicky) was unable (NOT) to attain her dream (Neptune), a discouraging (Neptune again) outcome for her.
Another signal that this would end poorly for Haley was asteroid Halle’s conjunction with asteroid Nemesis 128 at 2 Leo, a point indicating blockage or undoing. And a prime source of this ruination can be seen in Nemesis’ exact trine to asteroid Storm 12182 at 2 Sagittarius, with Haley’s voters, by far the least enthusiastic of any candidate’s supporters, likely staying home in the teeth of inclement weather. A blizzard had dropped up to a foot of snow on Iowa the weekend before the caucus, and while Iowans are more than used to dealing with such cleanup, the extreme cold that followed was a very different matter. A block of polar air literally froze the race for the Hawkeye State, with most locations experiencing below-zero air temperatures, and wind chills dropping to nearly forty below in some districts, certainly not congenial conditions for an evening’s outing.
We’ll discuss the weather more fully in a minute, but let’s take a quick look first at the two remaining candidates, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy.
In the aftermath of a disappointing finish, barely scraping past Haley despite his vaunted effort to visit all of Iowa’s 99 counties, Ron DeSantis finds himself at a crossroads, a turning point in his campaign. This is exemplified by asteroid Disanti 15630 (closest to DeSantis), which at 4 Gemini appears at station, marking a literal turning point for the candidate, and a probable change of direction. Disanti resumed direct motion on January 4th, trying to reach its Oval Office goal exemplified by asteroid Whitehouse just down the celestial road at 11 Gemini.
But DeSantis fell short, likely restricted by Disanti’s exact square to Saturn at 4 Pisces, which withholds success and reward until it has judged the recipient worthy. And by all accounts, the cold and robotic DeSantis, lacking the common touch, isn’t ready for prime time, with his poll numbers routinely dropping in each county he visited, as voters got to know him better. Asteroid Storm is a factor here as well, opposing Disanti from 2 Sagittarius in a T-Square with Saturn, with the weather (Storm) acting to depress (Saturn) his turnout. DeSantis seemingly eked out his second-place finish only due to his superior ground game, enough to surpass Haley but still falling well short of the Trump juggernaut.
Vivek Ramaswamy was caught up in mitigating cosmic factors as well, with asteroid Vivekbuch 19420 (closest to Vivek, a CNA, or Compound-Named Asteroid, comprised of first and last names strung together, which can be separated and used for either) at 2 Scorpio exactly squared ruinous Nemesis at 2 Leo and trine obstructive Saturn at 4 Pisces. Asteroid Ramaswami 23850 (alternate spelling) at 14 Taurus is sesquiquadrate disqualifying NOT at 26 Virgo, semisquare disappointing Neptune at 25 Pisces. Vivek Ramaswamy withdrew from the race after the Iowa caucus results were known, endorsing Trump as the door hit him on the way out.
As noted above, the weather formed a huge factor in turnout, with Iowans forced to trudge through feet of snow in life-threatening temperatures. In addition to the exact trine between asteroids Storm and Nemesis, encapsulating the weather’s negative effects, the dramatic impact is seen in a solar connection and a pairing of stationary points relating to the harsh conditions, with their stock-still status driving home and exacerbating the issues they represent.
Asteroid Snowdonia 129092 is a useful marker of the fluffy white stuff, as is asteroid Schneeweis 161546 (literally “white snow” in German), and both connect to the Sun, bringing snowy complications into focus. Snowdonia at 0 Aquarius conjoins both the 24 Capricorn Sun and Puto at 29 Cap, indicating dire, possibly deadly (Pluto, modern lord of death) conditions in the forefront of people’s consciousness (Sun). Asteroid Schneeweis at 15 Capricorn is widely conjunct the Sun as well, but more closely focused on Mars at 8 Capricorn, governing the campaigns generally, and turnout specifically, with the complicating factor of the snowfall (Schneeweis).
Asteroids Sturm 31043 (German for “storm”) and Frostia 854 (“frosty,” cold conditions) are conjoined at station, from 28 and 20 Taurus respectively, with Uranus also in the mix at 19 Taurus. Frostia turned direct on January 4th, setting the stage for extreme cold that lingered. Sturm doesn’t actually turn direct until the 20th, but is embedded at its station degree, suggesting the powerful blizzard that sent all campaigns into a tizzy that final weekend, with cancelled candidate appearances statewide. Uranus interjected its patented brand of disruption and turmoil into the proceedings, using the unexpectedly harsh cold snap as its emissary.
Note that Sturm conjoins Disanti and forms one leg of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, sextile Halle at 26 Cancer, with inconjunct aspects from both to asteroid Nicky at 23 Sagittarius on its Apex. This suggests that weather conditions impacted DeSantis and Haley more strongly than Trump: with asteroid Donn sesquiquadrate the stationing duo and Troemper sextile to Frostia, his numbers were reduced as well, but not enough to change the outcome.
Basically, Iowa told us what we already knew – Donald Trump’s hold on the Republican Party is secure, and, barring any unforeseen health crisis by either candidate, 2024 is going to be a rematch of 2020.
God help us all.