Ron, Not Don, and God’s Work Comes to Iowa

“If we focus the election on the past and other side issues, the Democrats will beat us again,” DeSantis told the Sioux Center crowd. “And I think it’s very difficult to bounce back from that defeat.”

At a fundraising event for Republican Rep. Randy Feenstra, Mr. DeSantis called on Republicans to “reject the culture of loss that has infected our party in recent years,” saying that governance is about “entertaining” and “social media.” He lashed out at those who believed he was “speaking in

But 320 miles southeast of DeSantis, Trump fans started lining up hours before a planned outdoor rally in Des Moines. They waited for President Trump behind a metal fence as the skies opened, drenching the small crowd of devoted supporters in the afternoon’s downpour. Several people reported having to “squeeze” their clothes afterwards.

“What a muddy, damp nightmare,” said Dallas County Republican Commissioner Kelly Koch, who arrived at Water Works Park in Des Moines at 11 a.m. She said it was “wise” for the Trump campaign to cancel the event. Water retention was a problem at low-lying outdoor venues.

Earlier in the day, Trump boasted on social media that Fox News would be covering his rally in full. But with the event canceled, Trump lost airtime — even though FOX was actually planning to broadcast it live.

“Everyone says that when he comes back, it’s going to be bigger and better,” Koch said. “You know Trump, don’t you?”

The scene shows just how far President Trump’s loyal base will go to support and defend him, and Mr. DeSantis has a tough road ahead to convince a sizeable portion of Republican voters to move forward. It was a reminder of

Perry Johnson, a wealthy frontrunner who doesn’t register in the polls, held his campaign event across the street from Trump’s rally, posed for photos with several former presidential supporters, and then “It rained, which made for beautiful weather,” he said in a statement. “It was really disappointing that Trump canceled the event.” President Trump posted a video of the storm filmed hours earlier outside Des Moines on his social media website, apparently in an attempt to assure his supporters that canceling the rally was justified. It was an attempt to

At the noon fundraiser, DeSantis happily ordered deviled eggs from a food truck outside inside the Sioux Center’s Classic Car Museum. He donned an apron and flipped burgers with Feenstra and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, just long enough for reporters to quickly document the moment. Mr. DeSantis sought to seize the opportunity to change the months-old narrative that he was an independent candidate struggling to participate in retail politics.

Mr. DeSantis’ attempts to connect with voters in Iowa (such as unannounced stops at a pizza lunch restaurant) show he is trying to build his own power, at least ahead of his expected inauguration. Meanwhile, Trump was welcomed by enthusiastic crowds during a quick stop at a restaurant or fast-food joint during his recent campaign trip.

On Saturday evening, Mr. DeSantis headlined another fundraising event in Cedar Rapids to benefit the Iowa Republican Party.

Rick Lemmon, 66, a Sioux City resident, is still undecided between Trump and DeSantis after the early events of Mr. He said he liked that he didn’t have too much of a certain “baggage.” The governor of Florida has tried to subtly convey that without attacking Trump directly.

“Mr. DeSantis doesn’t have that problem,” LeMond said, adding that he immediately thought Mr. Trump “had done a great job as president.”

During his 37-minute speech, the audience responded enthusiastically to Mr. DeSantis’ insistence that the border be closed “immediately.” He also took credit for signing a bill “to abolish Olympic pronouns in schools.” Mr. DeSantis predictably gutted Mr. Biden, but never mentioned Mr. Trump’s name. The same tactics employed by much of the Republican campaign, which anti-Trump Republican strategists say are insufficient to cut into Mr. Trump’s lead.

Convergence in Iowa was hoped for, but it came the day after the DeSantis-backed Super PAC was announced. the governor had the support From the 30+ state legislators here. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign on Saturday announced the endorsement of 150 grassroots activists around the world, after announcing support from 11 state legislators so far.

In other words, the Trump-DeSantis race is heating up in Iowa, even though Governor Sunshine has yet to declare it. He is expected to announce his campaign in the coming weeks.

Flipping through TV channels Friday afternoon, Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Koch paused at Newsmax while the station previewed Trump and DeSantis’ planned trip to Hawkeye State, “The Battle of Iowa.” , was drawn into the dramatic Chiron. The representatives of each candidate were engaged in a heated battle.

“They were arguing, ‘My guy is better than yours,'” Koch said with a laugh about the segment. “It came out of a movie. This is hysterical.”

Trump appears to have a large lead in the state, but there are signs that DeSantis could win support in Iowa in the next eight months before the caucuses.

Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll for early March — the latest bipartisan poll available in the state — Almost three-quarters of Republicans He said he would likely vote for Trump in the 2024 general election.

J. Ann Seltzer, a veteran state pollster who conducts the Iowa poll, said, “His overall figure, 74 percent who definitely or probably voted for him, is impressive. until I saw his previous situation.”

When I asked the same question in a poll in June 2021, that figure was 84% ​​of Iowa Republicans, an even higher percentage of voters who “definitely” would.

The state continues to lack credible, independent polls, and identifying potential caucus attendees is notoriously difficult and expensive for pollsters. Recently, investigation A poll earlier this week by National Research, which has polled Trump in the past, found the former president ahead of DeSantis by 18 percentage points.

Reynolds, who was also at the Feenstra DeSantis event on Saturday, had no plans to attend the Trump rally. A spokesperson for the governor said he will instead spend the afternoon with his mother ahead of Mother’s Day.

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