Here we are back today with the latest news. Donald Trump’s trademark air of confidence has been accompanied by an unusual sense of apprehension in the closing stretch of the 2024 Iowa contest – as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley work to deny the former president the kind of definitive win that would all but cement his third consecutive Republican presidential nomination. Mr. Trump, Ms. Haley, and Ron DeSantis fanned out across Iowa this weekend to make their case before the state’s caucuses on Jan. 15 in a frenetic burst of activity as voters endured an unending barrage of mailers, TV ads, and door knockers.
Trump Takes Targets Nikki Haley
As Trump campaigned in Iowa over the weekend, he warned his supporters against feeling their votes are not needed, given his commanding lead in the race. “Forget polls that show we’re 35 points up,” Trump told supporters at a weekend rally in Mason City. “Pretend we’re one point down.” The stakes are high for DeSantis and Haley, who are making their final pushes in Iowa this week. For months, the date of the Iowa caucuses has been circled on Republican calendars as the first and one of the best opportunities for those hoping to slow Mr. Trump’s march toward a rematch with President Biden.
The outcome of the Iowa caucuses will help set the tone – and the duration – of the race going forward. A furious scramble is underway between DeSantis and Haley to not only emerge as the leading alternative to Trump but to also show that perhaps at least half of all Republicans would prefer the party move beyond Trump. the former president’s two top rivals — Ms. Haley, the former United Nations ambassador, and Mr. DeSantis, the Florida governor — continue to thrash each other as much as Mr. Trump, though both are badly trailing him in most polls.
The leading pro-Haley super PAC has spent more than $13 million attacking Mr. DeSantis in Iowa since December, including one recent mailer that features Mr. Trump’s distinctive blond hair photoshopped onto Mr. DeSantis, calling the governor “unoriginal” and “too lame to lead.” Chris McAnich, who was at Mr. Trump’s event in Newton, Iowa, on Saturday wearing his white “Trump Caucus Captain” hat, said he had specifically attended because of the Jan. 6 date. “He did not incite a riot, and that’s kind of why I’m here, on Jan. 6, to say I’m with Trump and stick a thumb in their eye,” Mr. McAnich said.