In a surprising turn of events, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has announced her endorsement of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the 2024 Republican presidential primary. The endorsement is set to take place at a pre-debate rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday night. This move comes as a shock, as it is highly unusual for an Iowa governor to endorse a candidate in a contested race for the Republican nomination, especially this close to the Iowa caucuses.
Sources familiar with the matter confirmed the endorsement, stating that Reynolds’ support could give a much-needed boost to DeSantis, who has been trailing behind former President Donald Trump in polls. It is no secret that Trump has maintained a commanding lead among Republicans running for president in 2024, particularly in Iowa, where he is favored by 43 percent of likely caucus-goers.
Reynolds’ endorsement is seen as a significant win for DeSantis, who has struggled to maintain early momentum in the race. DeSantis has made Iowa a key focus of his campaign, visiting 87 of the state’s 99 counties in an effort to gain traction and challenge Trump in the caucuses.
The announcement of Reynolds’ endorsement comes on the heels of another influential Republican figure throwing their support behind Trump. Florida Senator Rick Scott endorsed the former president on Thursday, calling for Republicans to unite behind Trump as the party’s 2024 front-runner. Scott’s endorsement of Trump over his home-state governor has generated controversy within the Republican Party.
Despite Reynolds’ endorsement of DeSantis, it remains to be seen how much of an impact it will have on the race. Polling data suggests that few voters are likely to change their votes based on an endorsement, and Trump’s super PAC has conducted polling showing that few people changed their Iowa caucus votes after being asked about a hypothetical Reynolds endorsement.
Nevertheless, Reynolds’ popularity among Republican voters in Iowa could give DeSantis a necessary boost as he seeks to challenge Trump in the caucuses. Reynolds is viewed favorably by 81 percent of Iowa Republicans, according to a recent poll.
With the Iowa caucuses just a little over two months away, the race for the Republican nomination is heating up. DeSantis and other candidates will face off in their third debate in Miami on Wednesday, where they will have an opportunity to make their case to voters and gain momentum leading up to the crucial early state contests.
As the 2024 Republican primary continues to unfold, it is clear that the party is grappling with the question of whether to unite behind Trump or seek a new direction. Reynolds’ endorsement of DeSantis and Scott’s endorsement of Trump highlight the divisions within the party and the ongoing struggle for its identity.
In the words of Scott, “It’s time for the Republican Party to come together, behind one candidate, and declare with one voice that we are united in our efforts to defeat Joe Biden and rescue America.” The coming months will reveal whether the party can indeed unite behind a single candidate and present a strong challenge to the current administration.
0. “Kim Reynolds will endorse Ron DeSantis, source tells Local 5” Local 5 – weareiowa.com, 5 Nov. 2023, https://www.weareiowa.com/article/news/politics/local-5-politics/governor-kim-reynolds-ron-desantis-election-2024-endorsement-republican-primaries-gop-caucus/524-04d11440-56ce-4c65-8a0c-cace38c8da23
1. “Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to endorse Ron DeSantis over Trump in GOP primary” The Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/11/05/desantis-trump-iowa-kim-reynolds-endorse/
2. “Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to endorse Ron DeSantis for president” NBC News, 5 Nov. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2024-election/iowa-gov-kim-reynolds-endorse-ron-desantis-president-rcna123595
3. “Florida Sen. Rick Scott endorses Trump over home-state Gov. DeSantis” CNN, 2 Nov. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/02/politics/rick-scott-trump-endorse-desantis/index.html
4. “2024 Election: Iowa Governor to Endorse Ron DeSantis in GOP Race” Bloomberg, 5 Nov. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-11-05/iowa-s-governor-to-endorse-desantis-in-gop-race-snubbing-trump
5. “Florida Sen. Rick Scott snubs Ron DeSantis, endorses Trump instead” Axios, 2 Nov. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/11/02/desantis-trump-rick-scott-endorsement