Trump returns to Iowa for another rally and needles the state’s governor for endorsing DeSantis

by Madison Thomas
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Campaign Strategy

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally in west-central Iowa this Saturday as part of his ongoing efforts to garner support and volunteers in the lead-up to the state’s caucuses, which are less than two months away.

The event, taking place in Fort Dodge, a stronghold of the GOP, marks the latest in a series of strategically targeted regional rallies aimed at capitalizing on the substantial crowds that Trump consistently attracts. His objective is clear: to persuade attendees to commit to voting for him on January 15th.

This midday rally at Fort Dodge High School will be Trump’s sixth visit to Iowa since late September. Despite commanding a comfortable lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley in polls among likely caucus participants, Trump’s campaign has shown particular vigor in Iowa, surpassing its efforts in other early-voting states on the Republican presidential nominating calendar.

During a recent radio show appearance to promote his rally, Trump didn’t mince words when it came to his assessment of DeSantis, whom he criticized for his performance in the polls. This critique comes even after DeSantis secured the endorsement of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, breaking with the typical practice of Iowa governors remaining neutral before the caucuses.

Trump recounted, “I was really good to her, and then she said she was going to remain neutral. And I said, ‘That’s OK,’ but I didn’t really want her particularly.” Trump attributed DeSantis’ endorsement to an aggressive effort on his part, though he appeared nonchalant about its impact, stating, “I think it’s fine. I don’t think it’s made any difference.”

In the past eight weeks, Trump has made frequent appearances in Iowa, participating in eight events that collectively drew an audience of over 16,000 people, according to Trump’s Secret Service detail. This intensified campaign presence aligns with Trump’s strategy for the 2024 election, which places a strong emphasis on organization, in contrast to his 2016 campaign, where he finished in a competitive second place without the extensive network of staff and volunteers he has now cultivated.

Trump’s rivals, including DeSantis, have also been making more frequent visits to Iowa, hoping to achieve better-than-expected results against the former president, who continues to maintain a commanding lead in national Republican polls.

As Trump addresses the Fort Dodge crowd this Saturday, DeSantis will be campaigning in southern Iowa, steadily working towards his goal of visiting all 99 counties in the state. This tradition is seen as a marker of a candidate’s commitment to Iowa.

A recent memo from DeSantis’ campaign to donors revealed that his intensive focus on Iowa, including the endorsement by Governor Reynolds, is part of a strategy aimed at challenging Trump and preventing him from securing a significant victory in the state.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Campaign Strategy

What is the purpose of Trump’s rally in Iowa?

Former President Donald Trump’s rally in Iowa is part of his campaign strategy to gain support and volunteers ahead of the state’s caucuses, which are less than two months away.

How many visits has Trump made to Iowa recently?

Trump has made six visits to Iowa since late September, demonstrating his strong campaign presence in the state.

What has been Trump’s approach to campaigning in Iowa?

Unlike his 2016 campaign, Trump’s 2024 strategy emphasizes strong organization, including building a network of staff and volunteers to support his candidacy.

Why did Trump criticize Ron DeSantis during a radio show appearance?

Trump criticized DeSantis for his poor performance in the polls, even after securing the endorsement of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who broke with the tradition of Iowa governors remaining neutral before the caucuses.

What is DeSantis’ campaign strategy in Iowa?

DeSantis has been campaigning extensively in Iowa, aiming to challenge Trump and potentially prevent him from securing a significant victory in the state.

What is the significance of Governor Reynolds’ endorsement of DeSantis?

Reynolds’ endorsement of DeSantis is seen as a departure from the usual practice of Iowa governors remaining neutral and reflects DeSantis’ efforts to gain support in the state.

How has Trump’s campaign presence impacted Iowa?

Trump’s frequent appearances in Iowa have drawn substantial crowds, indicating the importance of the state in his 2024 campaign strategy.

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