DeSantis Bets On Iowa Amid Trump Feud

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to formally announce his presidential campaign soon, setting the stage for a showdown with former President Donald Trump. DeSantis' strategy to claim the GOP 2024 nomination? An all-out push in Iowa.

Why it matters: Despite trailing behind Trump further than ever in the polls, DeSantis sees a path to victory through Iowa, traditionally the first state to award delegates in a primary. The Florida governor is reportedly planning to invest substantial resources into the Iowa caucuses, potentially visiting all 99 of the state's counties. He plans to imitate the same strategy behind Ted Cruz's surprise Iowa win in 2016.

However, the strategy could backfire due to the Democratic Party's revised primary calendar, which now prioritizes states with higher black populations to help Biden’s chances in the primary. Iowa's status as the first delegate-awarding state is in jeopardy, potentially shifting focus to New Hampshire.

Trump vs. DeSantis continues: Trump has sought to paint DeSantis as an extremist, criticizing his 6-week abortion ban and accusing him of damaging Florida's economy in his fight against Disney. The former president has even claimed that ex-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo handled the pandemic better than DeSantis.

What's next: DeSantis' pitch to donors hinges on the argument that Trump's popularity with the GOP base won't translate to a general election win. DeSantis aims to position himself as a viable alternative that can unify the party and secure the presidency.

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