Trump and DeSantis will hold dueling campaign events in Iowa with the caucuses just six weeks away

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is set to complete his campaign promise of visitng all 99 counties of Iowa this Saturday, a traditional strategy for presidential candidates seeking to make a lasting impression in the pivotal state. This approach involves mingling with voters over several months at diners, cookouts, and Pizza Ranches.

However, DeSantis’ campaign plans, like much of his presidential bid, will be overshadowed by former President Donald Trump, who is simultaneously addressing his supporters about 100 miles away in Cedar Rapids.

With only six weeks remaining before the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses, which DeSantis has expressed confidence in winning, he faces stiff competition from Trump in both national and early-state polls. Despite securing key endorsements from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats, DeSantis is also grappling with internal problems within his political operation, including the departure of two key officials from the major super PAC supporting him. Additionally, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley poses a formidable challenge, gaining momentum in early-state polls and garnering support from Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the influential Koch network.

While Trump has planned two events on Saturday to rally his supporters to caucus for him, his campaign has downplayed DeSantis’ efforts, comparing him to a little-known GOP presidential candidate, businessman, and pastor Ryan Binkley, who previously visited all 99 counties in Iowa.

Despite these challenges, Reynolds believes that DeSantis still has time to close the gap with Trump, praising his staunch conservatism and lack of drama as appealing qualities to Iowan voters.

DeSantis’ advisers argue that visiting every county in Iowa demonstrates a commitment to gaining support from all parts of the state, including smaller rural areas.

Historically, the tradition of presidential candidates visiting all 99 counties in Iowa dates back several decades and has become a rite of passage for hopeful nominees, underscoring the state’s critical role in the presidential nomination process.

As the Iowa caucuses draw nearer, all eyes are on the intense competition between DeSantis, Trump, and other contenders, making this weekend’s events all the more crucial in shaping the outcome of the upcoming caucuses.

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