On Saturday afternoon, DeSantis will take the stage in Newton, Iowa, while Trump simultaneously addresses his fervent supporters about 100 miles away in Cedar Rapids. With just six weeks remaining before the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses, DeSantis remains steadfastly confident in his chances of victory. He has pinned his hopes on this crucial state and has even secured endorsements from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and prominent evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats.
Reynolds spoke highly of DeSantis, emphasizing his dedication and commitment to Iowa. "He's not just making a quick appearance before disappearing. He has invested substantial time in our state," she stated in an interview.
Nevertheless, Trump maintains a commanding presence in both national and early-state polls. Throughout the fall, he has held large rallies and organized events to rally caucus goers. Meanwhile, DeSantis faces internal issues within his political operation, with two key officials departing from the major super PAC backing him. Furthermore, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley presents a formidable challenge as she rises in early-state polls and gains support from Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the influential Koch network.
Trump himself has plans to address two events on Saturday, urging his supporters to commit to caucusing for him. His first stop will be in the Des Moines area, followed by another event in Cedar Rapids later in the day.
Trump’s campaign and DeSantis’ 99th County Celebration
The Trump campaign has recently compared Ron DeSantis, a Republican candidate, to a lesser-known GOP presidential candidate named Ryan Binkley. Binkley claims to have already visited all 99 counties in Iowa. The campaign made a statement earlier this week, stating, "If Ron DeSantis can't even keep up with Ryan Binkley in Iowa, how can he expect to be competitive with Nikki 'Birdbrain' Haley for a distant second place?"
However, DeSantis' spokesman, Andrew Romeo, responded with confidence, saying that winning in Iowa requires a strong combination of hard work and strategic organizing. He believes that DeSantis has demonstrated this successful model throughout the campaign. Romeo added that the milestone of visiting all 99 counties is just another example of how DeSantis is unmatched by his competitors.
Despite the Trump campaign's skepticism, Governor Kim Reynolds suggests that DeSantis still has time to make up ground and challenge Trump's lead. She praises DeSantis as a staunch conservative who brings stability and a focused approach to the race. Reynolds also notes that Iowans tend to make their decisions late in the game, and she believes that DeSantis is just beginning to hit his stride.
DeSantis' advisers argue that visiting every county in Iowa shows a commitment to reaching out to all parts of the state and can generate vital support from smaller rural areas. They believe that this strategy will help secure critical backing for DeSantis as the race moves closer to its decisive moments.
As the race intensifies, DeSantis continues to prove his dedication and competence in the Iowa campaign. With his strong conservative values and strategic approach, he aims to challenge Trump's lead, with the support of Governor Reynolds and many Iowans who tend to make their choices at a later stage. By visiting each county, DeSantis demonstrates his commitment to all parts of the state and hopes to garner significant support from rural areas.