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DeSantis Heads to Iowa Lagging Far Behind Trump in New Poll

U.S. News & World Report 6 days ago Claire Hansen
Charlie Neibergall © Charlie Neibergall Charlie Neibergall

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will head to Iowa on Monday to kick off his presidential campaign and start a three-state tour that will begin with several stops in the Hawkeye State.

He’ll have his work cut out for him.

DeSantis trails former President Donald Trump among Iowa Republican caucus voters by 42 points, according to a new poll from Emerson College.

Trump leads the field of possible Republican presidential candidates in Iowa with 62% of voters’ support, compared with DeSantis’ 20%. No one else in the rest of the field – which includes both possible and official 2024 candidates – breaks out of single digits.

DeSantis formally announced his presidential bid on Wednesday in a glitch-filled event on Twitter Spaces, the platform’s audio feature.

The Iowa poll roughly aligns with voter sentiment nationwide. The governor is floundering behind Trump in national polls, lagging by an average of about 40 points, and early primary states including Iowa will be critical in the longevity and viability of his campaign.

He will start his “Great American Comeback” tour Tuesday with an event in Des Moines, Iowa, before heading to Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Pella and Cedar Rapids on Wednesday. From there, the governor will travel to New Hampshire and South Carolina.

DeSantis’ early strategy appears to focus on Iowa, which Trump lost to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in 2016. He has already made two campaign trips to the state.

A group supporting DeSantis, the Never Back Down PAC, will reportedly spend $100 million in a voter outreach campaign in the three states and Nevada ahead of the primaries in a bid to boost candidacy as he attempts to take on Trump.

The Emerson poll also found that DeSantis would fare worse against President Joe Biden in a general election than Trump would – though in a solidly red state like Iowa, it’s likely the Republican would win the state regardless of the nominee.

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