“Trump’s Lead in Iowa Is Fragile” – Evangelicals Struggle With Ex-Bush Official’s DeSantis Support


As the political arena heats up for the upcoming 2024 elections, key figures in the Republican Party are making strategic moves and endorsements. One important figure, Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of The Family Leader, has recently thrown his support behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. This has stirred up reactions across the political spectrum.

Vander Plaats’ Winning Record

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Vander Plaats is known for his strategic endorsements within the Republican Party. He recently declared his support for Ron DeSantis as the GOP’s 2024 nominee. His track record in influencing key elections, particularly in Iowa, is noteworthy. Vander Plaats stated, “Endorsing @RonDeSantis is familiar territory for me.”

Iowa’s Influence in the GOP

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Iowa’s role as a bellwether state in Republican politics is well recognized, and Bob Vander Plaats wields significant influence in this arena. His endorsement of Ron DeSantis comes at a critical time, considering the GOP’s need to recalibrate after recent electoral setbacks. His choice to back DeSantis suggests a deliberate strategy to revive the party’s fortunes.

The DeSantis Endorsement

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Vander Plaats took to social media to endorse Ron DeSantis, recalling his successful endorsements in previous Iowa Caucuses. He confidently stated, “In Iowa, media and polls don’t pick our winner. Iowans do!” This statement shows his belief in DeSantis as a strong contender for the presidency.

A History of Predicting Winners Further

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Vander Plaats has a history of accurately predicting political victors, as shown by his past endorsements of candidates like Huckabee and Cruz, who overcame the odds. He reiterated this point, saying, “Huckabee ’08 was supposed to get crushed by Romney. Santorum ’12 as well. Cruz ’16 was to get crushed by Trump. On #Caucus night, they all won.” 

The #ChooseWell2024 Hashtag Further

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Vander Plaats popularized the hashtag “#ChooseWell2024” in his posts. This slogan captures his commitment to guiding the electorate to make decisions that reflect their preferences and interests. It’s a call to voters to be more careful and thoughtful about their choices in the upcoming elections.

Reactions to Trump’s Lead in Iowa Further

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Vander Plaats stirred discussions with his comments about Donald Trump’s shaky lead in Iowa. He highlighted this fragility, saying, “You can tell Trump’s lead in Iowa is fragile by his Team’s reaction…” This points to a possible shift in the political dynamics of Iowa, which is a state critical to the GOP’s success in national elections.

DeSantis’ Social Media

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Governor Ron DeSantis responded to Vander Plaats’ endorsement with a social media post featuring a photo of them together, smiling broadly. He emphasized the importance of this endorsement, especially among Iowa’s faith community. DeSantis stated, “His support tells Iowans they can trust me to fight and win for them.”

Trump Camp’s Counterattack

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The Trump campaign reacted skeptically to DeSantis’ endorsement by Vander Plaats, suggesting potential financial motives. They referred to DeSantis as “Ron DeSanctus” and Vander Plaats as “Bob Vander Plaat$” while highlighting their own grassroots support. Their official response read, “Over 150 faith leaders in Iowa are organizing their congregations for President Trump, and not a single one demanded nearly $100K like Bob Vander Plaat$ did from Ron DeSanctus.”

Plaats’ Rebuttal to Trump’s Camp

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In a direct reaction to Trump’s camp, Vander Plaats strongly denied any financial interests in his endorsement. He responded, “Nope…my endorsement isn’t, wasn’t, and never has been for sale.” This statement was a clear dismissal of the allegations, reflecting his confidence in DeSantis and his belief in the integrity of his endorsement.

Plaats Addresses Accusations of Financial Motive

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Vander Plaats then reiterated his stance, stressing the genuineness of his support for DeSantis. He confronted the allegations head-on, stating, “But, then you already knew that… didn’t you? The fact is @RonDeSantis earned my endorsement, and soon, he will earn an Iowa Caucus Victory.” 

Kim Reynolds’ Endorsement and its Impact

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ endorsement of DeSantis was also a topic of discussion. Trump’s camp, however, attempted to minimize its impact, suggesting that the combined support of Reynolds and Vander Plaats would not significantly boost DeSantis’ campaign. This perspective hints at the ongoing strategic fights within the GOP.

Biden Voters and Trump’s Tax Cuts

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The discussion around Trump’s tax cuts sparked critical reactions, especially regarding their benefit to wealthy individuals and corporations. One commentator pointed out, “Do all you Biden voters think about all of the Trump tax cuts given to rich white Billionaires who own football teams and made the Cities pay for their stadiums? As you waste your time and money watching and betting on football games?” 

The Unpredictability of Elections 

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Others emphasized the unpredictability of the 2024 election, with one user stating, “Polls, polls, polls, … The election is still nearly a YEAR away, and a lot can happen. Namely, both “grandpas” may not even be around.” Another added, “Hell, one push of the button from Psycho Putin could end this world, not just a country.” 

Criticism of the Electoral College

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Criticism of the Electoral College was clear among some sections of the public. One comment read, “Isn’t it special, the Fascist Dictators spend all their time jumping from one Battle-Ground state to the next! The Electoral College Sucks! If they win, they usually lose the popular vote by 10 Million!” 

Evangelicals’ Support for Trump Questioned

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The evangelical community’s support for Trump drew sharp criticism. A comment read, “Those Evangelical conservatives love rapist, womanizer, tax cheat, extreme lying of Trump. Apparently, Satan wasn’t available for them to vote for.” This comment reflects the complex and often controversial mixing of religion and politics in the U.S.

Vander Plaats’ Endorsement Seen as Fragile 

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Skepticism about the influence of Vander Plaats’ endorsement was evident, with some dismissing its significance. One critic stated, “The only fragile thing is his endorsement. He is the consummate loser in Presidential picks.” This perspective shows the diversity of opinions within the Republican Party and raises questions about the real impact of such endorsements.

The Media’s Role in Political Narratives 

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The role of the media in shaping political narratives came under scrutiny. Observers accused the media of being predictable and biased, with one stating, “They always use the same playbook. Any time any news comes out that actually threatens to change the script that they want, they bury it under an avalanche of counter-programming.” 

Predictions of Trump’s Success in Iowa 

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Despite changing political dynamics, some commentators remain confident in Trump’s strong performance in Iowa. One user predicted, “Trump is going to win Iowa in the presidential election by more than 10 points this time.” This confidence reflects the enduring loyalty of Trump’s base in Iowa and underscores the divisiveness of current political debates.

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