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Nigel Farage says American democracy in better shape than Britain’s

Brexit leader says Trump is ‘going to win this caucus this evening by quite a big margin’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Monday 15 January 2024 22:58 GMT
Related video: Ron DeSantis says he is ‘in it for the long haul’ after coming third in polls

Nigel Farage said he believes that American democracy is in better shape than Britain’s, even as polls show many Americans expect violence to follow the 2024 election, in a possible repeat of the January 6, 2021 insurrection after the 2020 election.

Appearing on the British right-leaning TV news channel GB News from Iowa, the Brexit campaigner said the Trump team are “pretty bullish. They really are. If the polls are right ... he's going to win this caucus this evening by quite a big margin”.

“To be here and to see the enthusiasm for the democratic process in America – it's such a contrast to our country. It really is remarkable that all these people will turn out at seven o'clock tonight to vote and some will vote for Trump or some a vote for Haley or Ramaswamy. But it really is an exciting thing to be part of,” he added.

Another side to the enthusiasm Mr Farage, 59, is speaking about is that the strong feelings in US politics at times turn into real-world violence, as seen three years ago during the Capitol riot.

Just 51 per cent of Americans expect the time after the next election to be peaceful, while the remaining 49 per cent think there will be violence yet again, according to a CBS/YouGov poll from earlier this month.

“This is seldom polled in Britain,” Sunder Katwala of the think tank British Future noted on X.

As many as 39 per cent of Americans don’t believe that President Joe Biden is the legitimate leader of the country, according to the CBS/YouGov poll.

When the caucuses take place on Monday night, there will be no polling places. Party activists will instead host meetings in whatever building is available in their precinct – churches, gyms, and people’s living rooms will be used.

A representative from each campaign will get a moment to make their case and voters then write down their preferred candidate on a blank piece of paper.

Volunteers then count the votes and send them along to a central party structure. While Republicans have secret ballots, Democrats physically moved around the space to stand with those supporting their preferred candidates. This year, Democrats will mail in their ballots.

The problems with having a caucus become clear if you consider the logistics. They’re held at 7pm on a weeknight – this year they happen to fall on Martin Luther King Day – in the middle of winter, which in Iowa often means freezing temperatures and snow, with forecasts for Monday showing temperatures as low as -8°F (-22°C).

Unlike with a primary, where you can leave after casting your ballot, the process often lasts for hours, making it difficult to attend for parents with young children, pet owners, or those who work at night.

For Democrats in 2020, the process failed so miserably that it took days to produce a result – going against the idea that the caucus is supposed to provide onward momentum for those that do well.

Although, the eventual winner, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg, managed to parlay his primary success into a cabinet post leading the Department of Transportation.

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