Trump wins Iowa while DeSantis edges Haley for 2nd place: Live updates

The Iowa caucuses, which kick off the 2024 presidential primary season, were held Monday with former President Donald Trump scoring a record-setting win.

RELATED: What are the Iowa caucuses and how do they work?

As Republicans began their effort to unseat President Joe Biden, Trump was on track to smash the record for a contested Iowa Republican caucus with a margin of victory exceeding the nearly 13 percentage points that Bob Dole won by in 1988. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis finished second over former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. 

Meanwhile, caucus voters endured life-threatening cold and dangerous driving conditions to meet in hundreds of schools, churches and community centers across the state.

The live blog has now ended. See previous updates below. All timestamps are in Eastern Standard Time.

6:40 a.m., Jan. 16 - Takeaways from the Iowa caucuses

Trump scored a record-setting win in the Iowa caucuses on Monday with his rivals finishing far behind, a victory that affirmed his grip on the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

In what was the lowest-turnout caucus in a quarter-century, participants endured life-threatening cold and dangerous driving conditions to meet in hundreds of schools, churches and community centers across the state. But those who ventured out delivered a roughly 30-point win for Trump that smashed the record for a contested Iowa Republican caucus with a margin of victory exceeding Bob Dole's nearly 13-percentage-point victory in 1988, according to the Associated Press.

DeSantis finished a distant second, just ahead of Haley, the AP reported.

The results left Trump with a tighter grip on the GOP nomination with his victory posing significant questions for both DeSantis and Haley. Neither candidate appeared poised to exit the race, though they leave Iowa struggling to claim making much progress in trying to become Trump’s strongest challenger.

Having repeatedly vowed vengeance against his political opponents in recent months, Trump offered a message of unity in his victory speech.

"We want to come together, whether it’s Republican or Democrat or liberal or conservative," he said. "We’re going to come together. It’s going to happen soon."

11:38 p.m. - Vivek Ramaswamy announces he’s suspending his presidential bid

Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy said Monday that he is suspending his 2024 Republican presidential campaign after a disappointing finish in Iowa's leadoff caucuses.

Ramaswamy, 38, endorsed his rival, former President Donald Trump. He has previously called Trump the "best president of the 21st century" even as he tried to convince Republican voters that they should opt for "fresh legs" and "take our America First agenda to the next level."

The wealthy political outsider also modeled his own bid on Trump's run, campaigning as a fast-talking, headline-grabbing populist who relentlessly needled opponents.

11:16 p.m. - DeSantis edges Haley for second place finish in Iowa, behind Trump’s historic caucus win

The Fox News Decision Desk can now project that Governor Ron DeSantis will take second place in the Iowa caucuses.

DeSantis will trail Trump by a significant margin, but coming in second may give his campaign a much needed boost.

Nikki Haley will come third. She will look to regain support in New Hampshire. Vivek Ramaswamy comes fourth.

Because Iowa awards delegates proportionately, all of the top four candidates will receive delegates.

10:24 p.m. - DeSantis, Haley nearly tied for second place in Iowa caucuses

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are essentially tied at 10 p.m. ET for second place in the Iowa caucuses.

DeSantis is slightly overperforming some of the pre-election polling.

This could be because of his turnout operation, but the race for second place is too early to call.

Fox News' Decision Desk has projected that former President Donald Trump will win the caucuses.

9:28 p.m. - Haley and DeSantis have eyes on second place

The contest for runner-up narrowed to the former U.N. ambassador and the Florida governor on Monday night after Trump was declared the winner of the first-in-the-nation GOP voting contest.

Vivek Ramaswamy and Asa Hutchinson are among the other candidates competing for votes.

9:08 p.m. - Trump addresses caucus site shortly before winning Iowa

Shortly before Trump was declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses, Trump was greeted with loud cheers and applause as he addressed a crowd in Des Moines. 

"I would appreciate your vote. I think I deserve it," he said, making the case that things were much better when he was in charge. "We were a great nation three years ago and today people are laughing at us," he said.

Trump was proceeded on stage by Asa Hutchinson and followed by Vivek Ramaswamy.

8:41 p.m. - Trump wins Iowa’s first-in-the-nation GOP caucuses

Trump has won Iowa’s leadoff presidential caucuses, giving him a strong start in the race for the 2024 Republican nomination.

He will take the lion's share of the state's 40 delegates.This result solidifies his place as the current frontrunner for the nomination.

His rivals are jostling for second place, hoping for a bump heading into New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 23.

So far, Trump is significantly outperforming his second-place 2016 caucus finish, when he received 24% of the vote, compared to 28% for Ted Cruz.

8:28 p.m. - Trump already holds commanding lead 

It's a little after 8pm Eastern, and former President Donald Trump has a commanding lead according to the Fox News Decision Desk as doors are closing in Iowa's Republican caucus meetings.

He has a deep bond with GOP voters; particularly rural Americans. Governor Ron DeSantis and former Governor Nikki Haley are locked in a tight battle for second place.

DeSantis made a push for Evangelical Christians, but so far his support with that group is only slightly greater than with non-evangelicals.

Meanwhile, Haley's base is more urban. And she carries four-in-ten voters who say they are "non-MAGA."

Ramaswamy is running further behind.

5:35 p.m. - Iowa GOP caucusgoers say no to the status quo

Iowa GOP caucusgoers want sweeping changes to how the federal government is run, according to AP VoteCast.

About 3 in 10 say they are seeking a complete and total upheaval. An additional 6 in 10 caucusgoers say they want substantial changes.

Most caucusgoers trust Iowa elections, but about 4 in 10 are not too confident or not at all confident in the integrity of U.S. elections. Nearly 6 in 10 have little to no confidence in the U.S. legal system.

5:30 p.m. - Top issues for Iowa GOP caucusgoers: Immigration, economy

About 4 in 10 GOP caucusgoers say immigration is the most important issue facing the country, according to AP VoteCast.

About one-third said it was the economy. Fewer people named other priorities, including foreign policy, health care, abortion or energy.

Information from FOX News and the Associated Press was used in this report.