Trump and DeSantis Set to Hold Rival Rallies in Iowa, Escalating Presidential Primary Rivalry

Former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are both set to hold rallies in Iowa on Saturday, highlighting the escalating rivalry between them as potential contenders for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.[0] DeSantis is scheduled to attend two events in Sioux Center and Cedar Rapids, while Trump will appear at a rally in Des Moines.[1] Trump’s decision to hold his rally on the same day as DeSantis’ visit is seen as a deliberate move to maintain a presence in the state as one of his chief potential rivals aims to gain ground.[2]

DeSantis has been endorsed by several high-profile Iowa Republicans, including State Senate President Amy Sinclair, House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl, and several other GOP leaders.[3] While DeSantis has not yet formally entered the presidential race, Politico reported on Friday that more than three dozen Iowa state legislators intended to endorse the governor ahead of his visit to the state.[4]

Trump has made DeSantis a focus of his primary attacks, criticizing his voting record as a congressman on issues such as entitlement overhaul and calling him disloyal for considering a presidential bid after receiving Trump’s endorsement in his 2018 run for governor.[5] It seems that Trump has issued a warning to DeSantis, suggesting that any announcement of a 2024 bid could have repercussions.[6]

DeSantis, for his part, has approached Trump cautiously as he maneuvers toward a presidential campaign of his own.[6] The governor has spent much of the past month avoiding Trump’s constant missives and deflecting questions about his potential rival’s mounting legal troubles.[6] Allies of DeSantis have begun testing potential counterattacks, with the pro-DeSantis PAC Never Back Down calling Trump “a candidate who has lost his luster” and suggesting he was appearing on CNN to “cling to his eroding ‘frontrunner’ status”.[5]

The dueling events in Iowa highlight the importance of the state in helping determine the course of the Republican presidential primary as Trump opponents hope to coalesce around a viable alternative. While Trump currently demonstrates an early dominance over the GOP primary field, the competition from DeSantis and other potential contenders suggests that the race for the nomination is far from decided.[5]

0. “Trump and DeSantis to hold separate rallies in Iowa on Saturday”, 12 May. 2023,

1. “DeSantis campaign: Likely presidential candidate gets Iowa backing” Tallahassee Democrat, 12 May. 2023,

2. “Trump, DeSantis hold events Saturday in Iowa. What you need to know to go” Des Moines Register, 10 May. 2023,

3. “Ron DeSantis’ Chances of Beating Donald Trump As Rivals Both Head to Iowa” Newsweek, 13 May. 2023,

4. “DeSantis rolls out a major slate of Iowa endorsements” POLITICO, 12 May. 2023,

5. “Breaking News Story – App” WICZ, 13 May. 2023,

6. “Trump and DeSantis collide in Iowa on Saturday as their looming 2024 battle intensifies” CNN, 13 May. 2023,

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