Former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made their opening pitches to Iowa voters, as they both seek the Republican Party's nomination for the 2024 presidential election. Trump made his first trip to Iowa since announcing his third presidential bid, while DeSantis made his Iowa debut. The former president took shots at DeSantis, referring to him as a Republican in Name Only, or RINO, and highlighting that he was a disciple of Paul Ryan, who Trump views as a "loser who is currently destroying Fox."
Trump's visit to Iowa followed last week's news that he has been invited to testify in front of a New York grand jury, which could mean that he may soon face criminal charges. While Iowa Republicans still view Trump favorably, a new Des Moines Register Iowa poll showed that his support is eroding. Meanwhile, DeSantis promoted a new book and talked about his accomplishments as Florida's governor, avoiding taking aim at Trump.
Some Iowa voters expressed concerns about Trump's abrasive style and the possibility of him having too much baggage to get things done if he were elected. Others voiced their support for Trump, dismissing allegations of wrongdoing against him as "noise."
Both Trump and DeSantis are testing the waters in Iowa, as the state is the first in the nation and could make or break someone's presidential ambitions. While Trump is not known for retail politics, Republican presidential hopefuls must still make an effort in Iowa to win the party's nomination.
The Republican Party's nominee for the 2024 presidential election will face President Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in the 2020 election. As the country looks ahead to the future of politics, the race for the Republican Party's nomination is heating up, with Trump and DeSantis among the top contenders.