DES MOINES, Iowa – EXCLUSIVE – He trails former President Donald Trump by at least 25 points in the latest polls in the state that leads off the Republican presidential nominating calendar, but Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis remains confident.
“We’re going to win here. We have what it takes,” DeSantis vowed in a Fox News interview in Iowa’s capital city.
The Florida governor spoke minutes before he sat down with former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and multi-millionaire biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy – two of his 2024 GOP White House rivals – in front of a large crowd of social conservative voters in a state where evangelicals play an outsized role in Republican politics.
DeSantis is making a strong showing in Iowa central to his bid to defeat Trump, who remains the commanding Republican front-runner as he makes his third straight run for the White House.
But Haley, who’s enjoyed momentum in the polls in recent months thanks in part to well-received performances in the first three GOP presidential primary debates, has leapfrogged DeSantis for second place in New Hampshire – which holds the first primary and votes second in the Republican schedule – and her home state – which holds the first southern contest.