The Iowa State House majority leader, Matt Windschitl, expressed his desire for a forward-thinking presidential candidate and raised concerns about former president Donald Trump’s stance on red flag laws for gun owners.
Steve Deace, an Iowa conservative talk show host with a significant following in the state, noted that Trump’s recent criticism of a six-week abortion ban negatively impacted his support among evangelical voters.
Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who has maintained a neutral stance in the 2024 presidential primary, noted that the recent endorsements from Windschitl and other state lawmakers for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signify a noteworthy change in voter preferences within their respective constituencies.
While Trump currently leads in national polls and is considered by many Republicans as the inevitable nominee, the situation is less certain in Iowa, which holds the first GOP nominating process.
Local lawmakers, strategists, and voters indicated that Trump’s victory is not guaranteed.
Several prominent Republican figures are already challenging Trump’s candidacy and rallying behind DeSantis.
These endorsements are highly sought after in the Iowa caucus, where a few thousand dedicated party activists can determine the outcome. The record turnout in 2016 was just under 187,000 participants.
DeSantis’s emerging campaign is placing a significant bet on the state of Iowa. The super PAC supporting him, Never Back Down, generously invested money and attention in the region.
They have secured endorsements from state legislators, hired seasoned political operatives, distributed eye-catching mail pieces, organized impactful events, and established a grassroots operation.
Nevertheless, recent history has demonstrated that winning in Iowa does not necessarily guarantee to become the party’s nominee.
The past three Republican victors in caucuses, in the absence of an incumbent, failed to secure the party’s nomination.
Even Trump overcame a narrow loss in 2016 to eventually claim the nomination and the presidency.
However, in a race where non-Trump candidates face pressure to demonstrate early success against him, Iowa stands as a critical litmus test in the 2024 election.