DeSantis Makes Early Trip to Iowa as 2024 Presidential Race Heats Up

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made his first trip to Iowa on Friday, March 10, 2023, as his would-be presidential campaign heated up with new ads both for and against him seeking the White House.[0] The visit comes days before former President Donald Trump will make his own campaign stop in Iowa on Monday, as the two GOP front runners in the 2024 presidential race make their presence felt in the early voting state.[1]

Ahead of Iowa’s 2024 presidential caucuses, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll found that if former President Donald Trump were to be the Republican nominee again 74% of Iowa Republicans say they would likely vote for him in the general election — although the number of Iowans who say they would “definitely” vote for him has decreased by more than 20 percentage points since June 2021.[2]

It is predicted that DeSantis won’t enter the presidential race until the Florida legislative sessions conclude in May, however, research reveals he would be the greatest opponent to Trump. At the governor’s event in Davenport, Florida, two-time Trump supporters were present, expressing their approval of his policies but viewing Governor DeSantis as a more successful leader for the Republican party; someone who is able to accomplish his goals.[3] Despite the fact that he has not declared his candidacy yet, polls have continuously shown that DeSantis is the strongest rival for Trump if he runs for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

On Friday, DeSantis visited Iowa, joining other Republicans such as former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley who have already put forth their bids to challenge Trump for the Republican Party’s nomination.[3] It is possible for more people to join.[3] Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a speech alongside Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, took the opportunity to differentiate himself from the previous president, without naming him explicitly.[4] He praised the high level of unity and lack of scandals in his administration, seemingly implying a contrast with the disunity and frequent scandals of the Trump era.[4]

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were all successful in their respective Iowa caucus bids, winning in 2016, 2012, and 2008 respectively. All three invested considerable time in the state to ensure their victories.[5] None of them ultimately achieved the Republican nomination.[5] Former President George W. Bush is the most recent Republican who was not already in office to win the Iowa caucuses, secure the GOP nomination, and become the President of the United States, having accomplished this feat in 2000.[6]

0. “‘Protect our children from Disney:’ Ads praise, bash DeSantis as he visits battleground states” Orlando Sentinel, 10 Mar. 2023,

1. “Ron DeSantis Snags Donald Trump Ally as Rivals Set to Collide in Iowa” Newsweek, 10 Mar. 2023,

2. “Trump sees support drop among Iowa Republicans” The Hill, 10 Mar. 2023,

3. “Signing books and holding babies, DeSantis tests his retail skills in Iowa” The Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2023,

4. “Ron DeSantis dips a toe in Iowa, with Trump in his sights” The Boston Globe, 10 Mar. 2023,

5. “DeSantis moves his presidential ambitions into the open with Iowa visit” CNN, 11 Mar. 2023,

6. “Iowa Republicans say they may look beyond Trump in 2024: “It’s an open field”” CBS News, 10 Mar. 2023,

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