Experts weigh in on whether DeSantis’ Iowa strategy will be enough to topple Trump: ‘Hail Mary’

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Florida Gov Ron DeSantis He recently secured the endorsement of two key Iowans as he continues to push campaign resources into the state, a move political experts told Fox News Digital called an “all-in” strategy in an uphill battle that could make or break former President Trump. His presidential ambitions next year.

Shortly after receiving the endorsement of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, DeSantis was accepted According to influential Iowa evangelical leader Bob Vander Platts, “there’s definitely a shot that could beat the former president here,” despite Trump leading DeSantis by 30 points, according to the Real Open Politics average, with more than six weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses.

“Americans like winners and they want to be a part of winning,” GOPAC chairman and veteran Republican strategist David Avella told Fox News Digital.History tells us that the nominee will be someone who has won at least two of the first three races. While history tells us that an Iowa victory isn’t necessary, it’s clear that Team DeSantis needs a victory to challenge the imminent reelection of former President Trump. It could be effective, but it has to work given the resources and attention DeSantis’ team has put into Iowa.

DeSantis and its main super PAC, Don’t Back Down, have poured much of their resources into Iowa in a strategy that GOP strategist Alex Conant, founding partner of Firehouse Strategies, told Fox News Digital was born out of “necessity.” “It’s hard to see how he’s going to stand anywhere if Trump wins Iowa,” said the political reality.

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Former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Getty Images)

“It’s like a Hail Mary,” Conant said. “John McCain shocked the political world when he ran in New Hampshire in 2008. Barack Obama did the same thing in Iowa in 2008 when he ran against Hillary Clinton. Iowa or bust, and he won Iowa and went on to win the nomination. There are many conditions.

Despite the recent wave of Iowa caucuses and historical precedent for candidates using Iowa as a springboard for nominations, Conant said 2024 is not a “normal primary” as Trump said other candidates have yet to succeed in a position of “real power.” To explain exactly why it was not placed.

“The good news for Ron DeSantis is that he’s the front-runner in Iowa, if former President Trump isn’t running to win Iowa,” Avella told Fox News Digital. “The bad news for Ron DeSantis is that former President Trump is gearing up to win Iowa.” In order for DeSantis to win, he has to get it. [there to] It worries voters who are still keeping their options open and who are only considering candidates other than Donald Trump. It takes convincing voters by conveying a clear and concise message that the proposals are better solutions.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke to members of the media

Ron DeSantis He spoke to members of the media after an event in Chariton, Iowa on July 27, 2023. (Sergio Flores for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Given the message needed for the delayed operation, Conant told Fox News Digital that the DeSantis campaign “is very much about Florida.”

“The truth of the matter is, people in Iowa don’t care about your record in other states. They want to know what you’re going to do for them as president,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio In the year A campaign that came close to winning Iowa after a late surge in 2016.

“Republican voters are clear that the cost of living and failure to deal with border security are their top concerns,” Avella said. “Ron DeSantis needs a clear, concise message to convince voters that his ideas are the best solutions.”

America First Jobs Executive Director Ashley Hayek told Fox News Digital that DeSantis’ strategy is “irrelevant” to the outcome in the next few weeks and is “already decided” because of Trump’s significant influence in the Republican Party.

“Voters often refer to the economic achievements under Trump as ‘Trumpanomics,'” Hayek said. They know and proven history is irresistible. The Republican nominee is a foregone conclusion with Trump’s re-election in early 2024.”

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Trump in Iowa

Former President Donald Trump They greet fans as they arrive at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 12, 2023 in Des Moines. (Fox News/Paul Steinhauser)

Many famous donors of Desantis He told Fox News Digital. He expressed confidence in how he’s been campaigning in Iowa this month and that Iowa voters are now starting to pay more attention to the January caucuses.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, DeSantis Communications Director Andrew Romeo said the Florida governor is the only candidate who can beat Trump regardless of the primary.

“Ron DeSantis is the only candidate with the organization, resources and message to beat Trump in several early states — including the first and most important state on the calendar,” Romeo said. “That’s why Team Trump continues to attack every day.”

Super PAC supporting the Trump campaign Attack ads again On DeSantis last month, he spent millions on DeSantis in the past few weeks, which Romeo mentioned. social media Publicly announcing that DeSantis is “coming out of Iowa.”

DeSantis’ surrogates have made the case that voting is different than participating, and that responding to a vote is actually different from showing up for a candidate caucus on a cold winter’s night in Iowa.

Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a rally in Iowa

Several prominent DeSantis donors told Fox News Digital that they are encouraged by how he is campaigning in Iowa and that they believe Iowa voters are now paying more attention to the January caucuses. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/File)

“For voters to vote for a candidate who is 15 points behind on a cold night will require a turnout unlike any other in election history,” Avella said.

If DeSantis were to make a late move, Conant said a “strong third” or a “distant second” “wouldn’t cut it for Trump,” especially Desantis choice The fifth-lowest ratings in New Hampshire and South Carolina are strong states for Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

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Avella agreed, saying Trump “even finishing second with that kind of leadership might not be enough to change the current outcome.”

“The real question is how much of a second in Iowa, maybe a third?” Hayek said. “The widely publicized ‘reset,’ despite several rounds of concessions, has burned more capital than DeSantis has raised in the past three months. DeSantis’ campaign spending strategy shows you can see the writing on the wall: There’s not enough gas in the tank for New Hampshire or South Carolina, and at this rate; Nor will it be enough for Iowa.

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