The Ron DeSantis campaign, facing a challenging period characterized by discouraging poll numbers, has recently received a much-needed boost in the form of an endorsement from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R), as reported by NBC News. The announcement of Reynolds’ endorsement, set to take place at a rally in Des Moines, deviates from the typical behavior of Iowa governors, who generally refrain from public endorsements during the primary season. Notably, the last governor of the Hawkeye State to publicly support a candidate in the primary was Terry Branstad, who threw his weight behind eventual nominee Bob Dole in 1996.
Reynolds’ decision to endorse DeSantis is particularly noteworthy given his current standing in the polls. Recent polling data from the Des Moines Register, widely regarded as the preeminent authority on caucus polling, places DeSantis and Nikki Haley in a distant joint second place at a modest 16 percent, with former President Donald Trump holding a commanding lead at 43 percent.
Trump’s response to Reynolds’ neutrality in the race has been less than supportive. In a post on Truth Social back in July, Trump asserted his pivotal role in aiding Reynolds’ electoral victory, citing his own endorsements and significant campaign efforts. However, he expressed disappointment in Reynolds’ decision to maintain a neutral stance, leading to his decision to exclude her from his events. Trump’s frustration with the situation was palpable, as evidenced by his reference to DeSantis lagging behind by a significant margin.
Reynolds’ endorsement of DeSantis, despite her history with Trump, marks a substantial turn of events in the political landscape, suggesting a potential shift in the dynamics of the Republican primary. This move has the potential to invigorate DeSantis’ campaign, offering a glimmer of hope in an otherwise challenging electoral climate.
“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won,” Trump wrote. “Now, she wants to remain ‘NEUTRAL.’ I don’t invite her to events! DeSanctus down 45 points!”