Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is set to endorse Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — a move that comes as former President Donald Trump continues to dominate in the Hawkeye State.
Reynolds is formally offering her endorsement to DeSantis at a rally in Des Moines on Monday night as DeSantis allies hope this will provide a much-needed boost to the presidential hopeful’s campaign after months of waning in the polls. The Des Moines Register is identifying this endorsement as an “enormous win for DeSantis, who hopes to harness Reynolds’ star power among Iowa Republicans as he looks to jumpstart his stagnant campaign and establish himself as a clear alternative to front runner Donald Trump in the race’s critical final months”:
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) November 5, 2023
Reynolds is not stopping with the endorsement, either, as she is expected to go to bat for DeSantis in the following days, participating in a meet-and-greet on Tuesday and attending a Miami fundraiser this week as well ahead of the third Republican primary debate, which takes place in DeSantis’s home state.
“I think what she’s been able to do in Iowa has really been a model for how people should govern,” DeSantis commented to reporters about Reynolds, according to the Des Moines Register.
“Clearly, I think she could have a really significant impact. And I think any candidate running would be a fool not to want to have the support of Reynolds,” the Florida governor added.
DeSantis has made his way through 87 of the 99 counties in Iowa in hopes of boosting his standing as the caucus draws closer.
According to the DeSantis campaign, more than two dozen state lawmakers who are backing his presidential bid will also be in attendance at Monday’s rally.
While DeSantis considers the endorsement a victory, it remains unclear how significant of an impact it will have on voters nationwide, as Reynolds is a relatively unpopular governor. A recent Morning Consult poll found that Reynolds is actually America’s most unpopular governor, as 47 percent disapprove of her:
— Morning Consult (@MorningConsult) November 1, 2023
The endorsement also comes as Trump continues to absolutely dominate in the Hawkeye State. A recent Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll found him as the runaway front runner in the state, with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley tying DeSantis for second place. Further, the survey’s results reflect a three-point decrease for DeSantis in Iowa since the survey’s August results.
As Breitbart News detailed:
The survey was taken October 22-26, 2023, prior to former Vice President Mike Pence dropping out of the race. Nevertheless, Trump leads the pack of Republican presidential primary hopefuls with 43 percent among likely Republican caucusgoers. That reflects a one-point increase since August.
Both Haley and DeSantis tie for second place, coming 27 points behind Trump, with 16 percent support each. That reflects a three-point decrease for DeSantis since August but a major positive shift for Haley, as it reflects a ten-point increase in that same timeframe.
It remains unclear what impact the Reynolds endorsement will have on the DeSantis campaign, but it comes on the heels of Trump nabbing several endorsements from Florida lawmakers, who previously supported DeSantis.
Trump brought the lawmakers on stage during an appearance at the Florida Freedom Summit, which took place over the weekend, stating they had given “the endorsement a little while ago”:
#BREAKING: Donald Trump brings on stage Florida lawmakers who flipped their endorsement from Ron DeSantis at the Florida Freedom Summit
“What a nice-looking group of people!” pic.twitter.com/7XY9xSFslU
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) November 4, 2023
The timing of the Reynolds endorsement is not without controversy, either; there are two major gubernatorial elections on Tuesday — in Mississippi and Kentucky. Yet Reynolds, who serves as the Republican Governors Association (RGA) chair, is spending the night before the election stumping for DeSantis:
There are two competitive Governor races in Mississippi and Kentucky on the ballot this Tuesday.
Kim Reynolds is the RGA Chair.
But Kim Reynolds is spending Election Eve campaigning with Rob DeSanctimonious in Iowa.
Don’t quit on them, RGA!
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) November 5, 2023
Monday’s RealClearPolitics (RCP) average of polls showed Trump up by an average of 31.5 points in Iowa.