PoliticsAmerica VotesPresidential Election


Where Ron DeSantis stands ahead of the Iowa caucuses

Iowa will prove critical in whether the Florida governor can cement himself as a viable Republican candidate for the presidency.
Posted at 12:44 PM, Jan 15, 2024

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won reelection in 2022 by such a landslide that it was the largest margin of victory in 40 years in the state. He framed his campaign as a battle against the "woke agenda" of liberals, and it helped create a dramatically different result than the first time around.

In 2018, DeSantis barely beat Democratic challenger Andrew Gillum. The initial margin of less than 0.5% triggered an automatic recount and despite three counties missing the recount deadline, DeSantis was declared the winner.

What matters more: Iowa or New Hampshire?
Snow falls at the Iowa State Capitol building.

What matters more: Iowa or New Hampshire?

Iowa may be first in the presidential nomination process, but the state isn't always indicative of who may win the election.


In his first term as governor, DeSantis gained national attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, being vocally against lockdowns, mask mandates and vaccines. But his huge reelection win gave him the kind of national attention that made him a viable contender for the Republican presidential nomination.

DeSantis launched his campaign in May 2023 with Elon Musk on Twitter. And what looked like an innovative idea became a disastrous announcement riddled with glitches.

How seriously do Iowans take their 'first-in-the-nation' status?
A man walks past a sign that reads

How seriously do Iowans take their 'first-in-the-nation' status?

Iowa has a little more than 3 million people, yet on Monday, the small, rural state will play a major role in picking the next president of the U.S.


Since then, despite putting a significant amount of money into campaigning in Iowa, DeSantis has struggled, losing major donors and campaign staffers. Since November, at least six top campaign officials have either quit or been fired, leaving DeSantis in danger of falling far short of expectations.