Op-ed by Summer Lane | Photo: Courtesy of the Trump Campaign
President Donald Trump has worked hard in the Hawkeye State this year, delivering multiple speeches, meeting with eager supporters, and firing up grassroots support like never before.
Iowa will kick off the 2024 primary election season in earnest next January with its all-important caucuses, and winning the state’s support will further cement Trump’s dominance over the field of GOP candidates.
Currently, the Trump campaign’s elbow grease in Iowa has resoundingly paid off. In new data from Public Opinion Strategies (Sept. 28-Oct. 1), Trump has a 31-point lead over the GOP runner-up, Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.
This is no small feat, considering the Iowa caucuses are only three short months away, and Trump is on track to win there in a landslide victory that will set the tone for the rest of the Republican primaries.
In 2020, Donald Trump won the Iowa caucuses as the sitting president with nearly 100 percent of the GOP votes, according to the Des Moines Register. Voters may also recall that in 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, won the Iowa caucuses. Nevertheless, Trump went on that year to win the presidency in a massive victory against former Democrat Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Iowa caucuses are a good indication of how the rest of the Republican primary season will go, and right now, Iowa is predominantly Trump country.
President Trump has visited Iowa multiple times this year, returning often to ensure that his solid lead remains intact ahead of the caucuses in 2024. In August, the president visited the Iowa State Fair with an entourage of America First candidates in tow, sweeping through the fairgrounds with confidence and charisma. Trump bought food for fair-goers and shook hands with prospective voters who, just moments before, had caught a glimpse of Trump Force One flying over the fairgrounds.
In September, Trump strategically showed up to an anticipated Iowa-Iowa State football game, where he was practically mobbed all day by massive crowds of supporters – many of them college-age, illustrating strong support from the youth in the Hawkeye State.
Trump met with Iowa State University students, playfully throwing footballs into the crowd and taking pictures with eager young college kids. It was an organic and brilliant photo-op, and it contrasted massively with other Republican candidates’ stiff and styled campaign stops in Iowa.
Gov. DeSantis, for example, has not returned to Iowa in quite some time, perhaps because he and his campaign have both realized that the state is firmly supportive of Trump – and this is not likely to change.
The Trump campaign has facetiously kept track of DeSantis’s beleaguered campaigning efforts in states like Iowa and South Carolina, nicknaming it the “Kiss of Death Countdown.” This moniker seems especially accurate, considering the fact that DeSantis has fallen to third, fourth, or even fifth place in some state’s primary polls.
President Trump has often said that he would not be playing “prevent defense” with his 2024 campaign, and this strategy is robustly on display in the great state of Iowa, where he has relentlessly returned for ground game campaigning despite a historic lead in the polls.
In late September, Trump again returned to Iowa, where he delivered back-to-back speeches in Maquoketa and Dubuque, swinging by the Treehouse Pub and Eatery in Bettendorf, where patrons filled the small restaurant and excitedly took pictures with the president as he handed out boxes of pizza.
Last week, Trump spoke to farmers in Ottumwa, Iowa, and made a later stop where he took pictures with locals and playfully autographed a towering combine in Leighton.
On Saturday, just six days after his Ottumwa visit, Trump will again return to Iowa, where he will visit Waterloo and Cedar Rapids. At this stage in the campaign, the president is clearly taking no chances on Iowa, despite his overwhelming supremacy in Iowa polling – and that strategy is clearly paying off in spades.
Watch President Trump speak in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday, Oct. 7 on RSBN. The broadcast is expected to begin at 1:00 p.m. ET.