Iowa Voters Give DeSantis the Cold Shoulder

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Public domain photo, via Wikimedia Commons.

The strategy of going to the right of Donald Trump led Ron DeSantis right off the cliff.

The Florida governor bet the farm on winning Iowa’s first in the nation caucuses, only to finish a distant second to Trump. The former president got 56,260 votes for 51% to DeSantis’ 23,420 votes for 21%.

Campaigning in all of Iowa’s 99 counties while spending upwards of $300 million, DeSantis had hoped his bully tactics would resonate with social conservatives. Instead, most were drawn to Trump, who, ironically, saddled DeSantis with the nickname, “DeSanctimonious.”

“To all my former GOP colleagues who followed DeSantis off a cliff handing schools over to book banning extremists and slavery apologists, banning abortion, going to war with Disney and making Florida synonymous with anti-LGBTQ bigotry only to lose every Iowa county I ask you this — WAS IT WORTH IT?” said Carlos Guillermo Smith, a former state representative from Orlando and arch rival of the governor.

Disappointing showing aside, DeSantis is not throwing in the towel just yet, telling reporters the results had “punched his ticket” to continue the campaign. Many political pundits have said DeSantis is merely lingering to see if Trump is disqualified by a criminal conviction in the 91 charges against him.

Meanwhile, the race for the Republican nomination shifts to New Hampshire and South Carolina, where former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, who finished a close third in Iowa, looks better positioned to contend with Trump.


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