The campaign for GOP presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis is reportedly focused on denying former President Trump a “big win” in Iowa after the Florida governor secured the endorsement of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R).
The Associated Press reported that DeSantis’s senior advisers outlined a path to secure DeSantis the GOP nomination in a memo sent to his national donor network and a separate group of uncommitted billionaires, which is known as the American Opportunity Alliance. The memo argues that DeSantis can succeed in his bid if he denies Trump a “big win” in Iowa.
“Everyone can universally agree that if Trump were to win big in Iowa it would create media and political momentum for his candidacy that would be difficult to stop heading into New Hampshire,” states the memo, which was obtained by the AP.
The memo went on to say that a Trump loss or even a close race in Iowa would reveal his “political vulnerabilities and inspire Republican voters across the country who are either in the ‘not for Trump’ or ‘consider Trump and others’ camps.”
The reported memo comes ahead of the third presidential GOP debate, where DeSantis and four other White House hopefuls will gather on stage to try and make a dent in Trump’s significant lead in the polls.
DeSantis has remained in second place for most polls, falling behind only the former president. In Iowa, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley is tied for second place with DeSantis, according to a recent Des Moines Register poll.
The same poll also found that 43 percent of likely GOP caucus attendees in Iowa say Trump is their first-choice candidate, giving him a 27-point lead over DeSantis and Haley.
The AP said the memo argued that Haley and the other candidates “are, at best, simply playing the role of spoiler — exponentially increasing the odds of a Trump nomination.”
The DeSantis team is upping its Iowa strategy after Reynolds made her endorsement of DeSantis official Monday night. The Iowa caucuses are about two months away as many candidates fine-tune their messaging in the state.
“We need someone who will fight for you and win for you. We need someone who won’t get distracted but will stay disciplined, who puts this country first and not himself. That leader, that leader, that leader is Ron DeSantis,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds also joined DeSantis on the campaign trail on Tuesday and at a meet-and-greet event in Davenport, Iowa.
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