DeSantis Says Trump Will Declare Iowa Caucuses Stolen if He Loses

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis predicted that if Donald J. Trump is defeated in the Iowa caucuses next month, he will claim that the election was “stolen.” Despite trailing Trump by a significant margin in the state, DeSantis believes that Trump will try to delegitimize the results, just as he did against Ted Cruz in 2016. DeSantis also mentioned that Trump has a history of protesting outcomes, including when his show, “The Apprentice,” didn’t win an Emmy. The constant false claims of election fraud by Trump and his allies have influenced many Republicans, with nearly 60 percent of GOP voters believing that President Biden’s election was illegitimate. DeSantis, who previously avoided explicitly endorsing the theory that the 2020 election was stolen, has courted Trump’s supporters during his presidential campaign, making it challenging for him to contradict the former president. However, DeSantis recently acknowledged Biden’s victory, stating, “Of course he lost. Joe Biden’s the president.” DeSantis believes that voters are becoming less inclined to take Trump’s claims seriously due to his repeated allegations of election fraud. In response to DeSantis’s remarks, a spokesman for the Trump campaign accused him of reciting Democrat talking points and questioned his loyalty to the Republican Party. The Trump campaign has also accused DeSantis’s team of trying to “rig” the caucuses, but it remains uncertain if Trump will actually claim fraud in Iowa. Polls indicate that Trump’s support would need to significantly decline for him to lose, and he currently maintains a substantial lead over his primary challengers in New Hampshire. Throughout the campaign, DeSantis has primarily focused on competing for second place against Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, rather than directly challenging Trump.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis predicts that former President Donald Trump will claim that the Iowa caucuses were “stolen” if he is defeated there next month. DeSantis, who is currently trailing Trump by about 30 points in the state, believes that Trump will try to delegitimize the results, just as he did against Ted Cruz in 2016. Throughout the 2024 campaign, Trump and his allies have continued to insist that he defeated President Biden in 2020, leading to a belief among many Republicans that Biden’s election was illegitimate. DeSantis, who has courted voters from the Trump wing of the Republican Party, has previously avoided explicitly endorsing the theory that the election was stolen but acknowledged in August that Trump had lost and Biden is the president. DeSantis argues that Trump’s repeated claims of election fraud have led voters to take him less seriously, and he does not believe people will buy into Trump’s claims if he loses in Iowa. The Trump campaign has accused DeSantis’s team of trying to “rig” the caucuses, and polls show that Trump’s support in Iowa would have to significantly decline for him to lose. So far, DeSantis has focused more on competing for second place against Nikki Haley rather than directly challenging Trump.

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