DeSantis Capitalizes on Trump Absence in Iowa

DeSantis Capitalizes on Trump Absence in Iowa

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
May 15, 2023

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has all but announced his campaign for the White House as he met with Iowans in the Hawkeye State on Saturday.

Simultaneously, former President Donald Trump (R) had to cancel his outdoor event due to a possible tornado. As the event’s status was up in the air, The Floridian’s Chris Nelson provided pictures of the unusual, lackluster attendance that consistently has thousands waiting in line, hours before President Trump makes his appearance.

“JUST IN: Dismal attendance at Iowa Trump rally. ‘There are only a few hundred people here for the Trump rally. Any other rally there would be thousands by now.’ -Longtime Trump supporter” reported Nelson.

That tweet was followed by more information reinforcing the idea that “this is not normal.”

“JUST NOW! At the Iowa Trump Rally they are making people park a LONG way away and get bussed to the event stage. There are 200-300 people waiting. Doors open at 2pm. Trump supporters know: THIS IS NOT NORMAL. THERE SHOULD BE THOUSANDS BY NOW!” stated Nelson.

The day of Trump’s planned rally, Gov. DeSantis spoke at a BBQ restaurant just minutes down the road following the cancelation.

The weather was mostly clear all day.

Some believe that Trump canceled the rally due to the poor attendance numbers and use the tornado watch as an out. Other believe that the tornado really was the main reason for the cancellation.

Regardless, DeSantis made an appearance. Trump did not.

In DeSantis' speech, he did not mention the former President, but he alluded to a Republican "culture of losing."

“We must reject the culture of losing that has impacted our party in recent years. The time for excuses is over,” DeSantis said. “If we get distracted, if we focus the election on the past or on other side issues, then I think the Democrats are going to beat us again.”

In the state of Iowa, according to a March De Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll which questioned self-identifying Republicans, Trump and DeSantis have similar “very favorable” numbers (Trump – 44%, DeSantis – 42%), as well as “mostly favorable” numbers (Trump – 36%, DeSantis – 33%).

However, despite leading in both positive categories, Trump also leads in the negative categories according to Iowa Republicans as 10% of GOP voters have a mostly unfavorable view of the former President and 8% have a very unfavorable view, compared to DeSantis’ 3% in both categories.

The poll also found that 20% Iowa Republicans still are “not sure” of their feelings towards “America’s Governor.” At the same time, Trump has an 18-point lead over DeSantis in Iowa according to a National Research poll.

Moreover, the last three competitive Republican contests in the state of Iowa were won by a candidate who did not end up winning the nomination (Huckabee – 2008, Santorum – 2012, Cruz – 2016).

Either way, there is still more than half a year until the Iowa Caucuses. DeSantis hasn’t even announced, and this ballgame has yet to kick off.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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