DES MOINES, Iowa — Eight months since he announced his 2024 Republican presidential campaign, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is poised to discover whether placing all of his chips on Iowa will pay off.
DeSantis, once the most popular Republican primary candidate whose name is not former President Donald Trump, is under pressure during Monday night’s caucuses to outperform expectations against the onetime commander in chief and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley as she experiences a rise in the polls.
Despite polls demonstrating Trump’s dominance in Iowa, DeSantis supporters, many of whom he convinced to back his candidacy as he crisscrossed the state and its 99 counties, emphasize how public opinion research has not been predictive, particularly regarding Republicans, during recent election cycles. Haley averages a 2.5-point edge on DeSantis in Iowa, though Trump has a 35-point advantage