DeSantis Visits Iowa, a Pre-Cursor to 2024 Presidential Run?

On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made his first trip to Iowa as part of his book tour, just three days before former President Donald Trump is set to visit the Hawkeye State for the first time since announcing his own campaign last November.[0] DeSantis’s visit, which he described as an opportunity to promote his new bestselling book, is seen as an indication of his widely expected announcement to run for president in 2024.[1]

A new Des Moines Register poll released Friday suggests Trump’s support is eroding in Iowa.[2] If he were to become the nominee, only 47% of Iowa Republicans said they would definitely support him in the general election, a double-digit drop from June 2021, when 69% said they would definitely support him.[2]

DeSantis was accompanied by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who hosted what were being described as interview-style conversations at both events.[0] DeSantis spoke of his rejection of Covid-19 restrictions, battles over education policy and a hard-line immigration stance.[1]

“If you talk to Floridians, there’s no drama in our administration,” DeSantis said. “There’s no palace intrigue. They basically just sit back and say, Okay, what’s the governor going to do next? And we roll out and we execute, and we do things and we get things done.”[3]

In recent weeks, a number of current and potential Republican presidential contenders have been to Iowa, including former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and ex-Vice President Mike Pence.[4] Trump, however, has yet to make his first visit to Iowa since announcing his campaign.

DeSantis and Trump are expected to be the two main opponents in the 2024 Republican presidential campaign, and Trump has already shown his willingness to lob attacks at DeSantis. Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth, that “the wonderful people of the GREAT State of Iowa” should not vote for DeSantis because he voted to kill ethanol and to “decimate Social Security and Medicare.”[5]

DeSantis has responded to Trump’s attacks by touting his record of achievement, and has said he is “defined by my accomplishments.” He also joked with Reynolds about the derogatory nicknames critics gave them during the pandemic for reopening schools: “COVID Kim” and “DeathSantis.[6]

0. “A slimmer, fitter DeSantis visits Iowa this week” Fox News, 6 Mar. 2023,

1. “Ron DeSantis Visits Iowa, With Donald Trump On the Way, as a 2024 Rivalry Builds” The Wall Street Journal, 11 Mar. 2023,

2. “Iowa Republicans say they may look beyond Trump in 2024: “It’s an open field”” CBS News, 11 Mar. 2023,

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

4. “Trump goes after DeSantis in first Iowa speech of 2024 campaign” The Hill, 14 Mar. 2023,

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

6. “DeSantis: Culture War Offensive Will Help GOP Elections:”, 13 Mar. 2023,

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