Ron DeSantis is privately telling people he’s running for president in 2024 as he makes his first trip to the important initial campaign state of Iowa on Friday.
Iowa would be a crucial test for the governor of Florida. The state will hold the first Republican nominating contest early next year, and if DeSantis could beat Donald Trump in their caucuses, it would show his strength and viability as a candidate.
DeSantis has not made any formal announcements about his 2024 plans, but has privately indicated that he intends to run for president, two people familiar with his comments said. Washington Post.
He has long been seen as a presidential candidate for the Republicans. His trip to Iowa comes three days before Trump is scheduled to visit the state to campaign there in his first visit since announcing his 2024 candidacy. Nikki Haley, who also announced a presidential campaign, is in the midst of a three-year campaign days in Iowa.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be in Iowa, a major early voting state in the Republican presidential primaries, on Friday.
Trump has deep ties to the state, thanks to his previous two presidential campaigns, and is popular there.
but a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll Friday It shows his support is beginning to erode: The percentage of Iowa Republicans who say they would “definitely” vote for him if he were the 2024 nominee has plummeted by more than 20 points since June 2021.
The poll also found that Trump and DeSantis are on par when it comes to approval in the state: 44% of voters approve of Trump and 42% approve of DeSantis. They are both about 20 points ahead of Haley.
DeSantis will appear Friday at events in Des Moines and Davenport that will be moderated by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has said she will remain neutral in the GOP presidential primary.
Then the Florida governor heads to Nevada on Saturday, another major early voting state in the Republican presidential primary.
The trips, including one to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, last week, are part of DeSantis’ effort to build his national profile, introduce himself to voters and connect with donors ahead of an expected presidential announcement.
DeSantis’s allies do not expect him to announce a presidential run until after the Florida state legislative session ends in May.
But, already, a super PAC has been formed that could be a boost to his presidential campaign. Never Back Down will be led by Ken Cuccinelli, who served as acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services during the Trump administration, and Chris Jankowski, a veteran Republican Party agent.
All of DeSantis’ recent moves point to his presidential ambitions, and those close to him told the Post that the governor is talking about a campaign without any warning to suggest he is still deciding.
Former President Donald Trump will visit Iowa on Monday, his first visit to the state since announcing he will run again in 2024.
Nikki Haley is in the middle of a three-day tour of Iowa; above campaigns in Nevada, Iowa
Late last month, DeSantis held a three-day private retreat in Palm Beach, where Trump resides in Florida, with several prominent Republicans, many of whom endorsed the former president.
Billed as a celebration of his policies for the state he refers to as the ‘Florida project,’ the event also served as a way to connect him with donors and party powerhouses.
He also recently published a book: The courage to be free: Florida‘s Plan for America’s Renaissance. He is presenting his Florida policies as a “model” for the nation.
His events in Iowa and Nevada are tied to that book tour, which many see as a precursor to a presidential campaign.
Iowa, famous for its retail politics, will also be a test of DeSantis’ campaign skills.
The governor has faced small talk is not natural in the electoral campaign, who lacks charm and seems unwilling to commit to the hours of light-hearted demeanor and chatter that goes into the campaign.
In Iowa, face time counts. Presidential candidates are expected to take multiple trips, visit nearly every county in the state and run extensive retail campaigning.
That strategy gave early impetus to other Republicans in past presidential primaries: Mike Huckabee in 2008, Rick Santorum in 2012 and Ted Cruz in 2016.
From left: Madison DeSantis, 6; first lady Casey DeSantis; Mason DeSantis, 4; and Governor Ron DeSantis place their hands on their hearts as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California on Sunday, March 5, 2023.
Trump lashed out at DeSantis over the trip, accusing him of trying to “kill ethanol,” an important issue for Iowa farmers.
‘Why the heck (farmers love land!) the wonderful people of the GREAT State of Iowa would vote for Ron DeSanctimonious when he voted and fought to KILL Ethanol (and definitely will if given the chance)’, he wrote. Trump on his Truth social website on Thursday night.
He will be in Iowa on Friday to plead for mercy. I supported Ethanol, FIRED NAFTA and did USMCA and China trade deals!’
While in Congress in 2017, DeSantis co-sponsored legislation that would have immediately ended the Renewable Fuel Standard, a mandate that requires renewable fuel to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.
One of those requirements is met by ethanol from corn starch. Iowa produces more corn than any other state.
Trump will be in Davenport Monday to outline his education plan and answer questions from voters. It is his first visit to the state since he announced that he will run for president again.
He clearly sees DeSantis as a threat, giving him the derogatory nickname Ron DeSanctimonious and accusing him of wanting to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits.
DeSantis will visit the Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport and then head to the Iowa State Fairgrounds, a traditional destination for presidential candidates.
He will also make a stop in Des Moines between his public events to meet with a small group of Republican lawmakers.
In Las Vegas on Saturday, DeSantis will visit Stoney’s Rockin’ Country nightclub with Adam Laxalt, an old friend who was the Republican nominee for the Senate in Nevada last year.