Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds is poised to give her endorsement to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the upcoming Republican presidential primary. This anticipated endorsement, slated for Monday, is expected to considerably boost DeSantis’s campaign as he vies to close the gap with former President Donald J. Trump leading into Iowa’s pivotal January caucuses.
DeSantis will visit Iowa on Monday
This significant political development will coincide with DeSantis’s scheduled visit to Iowa and comes from sources with intimate knowledge of the plans.
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Governor Reynolds enjoys widespread support among Iowa Republicans and shares a rare camaraderie with Governor DeSantis. The pair have found common ground on key issues such as Covid policies and abortion rights. Reynolds’s backing of DeSantis has been apparent for some time, even drawing public criticism from Trump, who expected her support.
Despite acknowledging some missteps in DeSantis’s campaign, Reynolds’s decision comes amid growing disenchantment with Trump, who has personally targeted her on two occasions.
Trump’s camp, anticipating Reynolds’s move to support DeSantis, has been preparing for such an endorsement for some time.
Trump grew frustrated earlier this year by Reynolds’s public appearances with DeSantis and said at one point, “I hate to say it, without me, you know, she was not going to win, you know that, right?” Later, he lashed out again, saying he didn’t invite her to his events.
This significant endorsement is expected to bolster DeSantis’s efforts to narrow the gap with Donald J. Trump and to distinguish himself from Nikki Haley, former South Carolina Governor and ex-UN Ambassador. Haley and DeSantis are currently neck and neck in Iowa, as per the latest Des Moines Register/NBC News poll.
The DeSantis campaign has withheld any remarks regarding the endorsement, and attempts to reach Governor Reynolds’s spokesperson for a statement have not been met with a response.
Jason Miller, an adviser to Trump, mocked the endorsement in an email statement with the subject line “Kim Reynolds to Endorse a Candidate Who Will Never Be President.” “Rob DeSanctimonious won’t get anything more than the Carly Fiorina bounce,” he said, referring to one of Trump’s challengers in 2016.
Reynolds is deeply protective of her state, and some close to her believed she would be unlikely to endorse DeSantis unless his campaign showed signs of progress. The decision to endorse would appear to be a sign that Reynolds thinks she can make a meaningful difference in a contest that polling shows Trump still leads by a large margin. Historically, the Iowa caucuses have been volatile affairs with significant movement as the voting nears.