(CTN News) – Former President Donald Trump has returned to Iowa to intensify his campaign efforts just eight weeks before the Iowa Republican caucuses take place on January 15.
In order to gain a stronger hold on the Hawkeye State, Trump is taking steps to solidify his lead and thwart any surge by his rivals who may try to catch up.
In a recent statement, Trump’s campaign team expressed confidence that they are entering the final stretch of the campaign with confidence, citing the former president’s consistent dominance in Iowa polls.
In a recent poll conducted by the Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa reporters, 43% of likely Republican caucusgoers selected Donald Trump as their first pick, while his closest rivals trailed behind at 16%.
There was a slight deviation from Trump’s usual campaign schedule when he decided to skip a prominent evangelical Christian forum on Saturday in favor of hosting an event in Fort Dodge. This decision is in line with his previous snubs of various gatherings throughout the campaign, including the three GOP presidential primary debates, during which he did not participate.
The absence of Donald Trump at the evangelical Christian forum provided his rivals with an opportunity to criticize him, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis taking a swipe at the former president’s candidacy on Tuesday.
In his comments, DeSantis, who has adopted an all-out strategy in Iowa, claimed Trump’s campaign is “high-risk and low-reward”, highlighting the challenges associated with Trump’s status as a lame duck and the distractions that he faces within his team.
DeSantis stated, “My candidacy includes a lower level of risk because we’ll run Biden ragged around the country, but a high level of reward because we’ll have two consecutive terms of a conservative president who will stand up for your values and deliver for you for eight years..”
At recent rallies in Iowa, Trump has directed his attention towards attacking Republican primary opponents, particularly DeSantis, whom he singled out as a particular target. Former President Obama has consistently criticized DeSantis’ record on energy policy, which has been a major concern for corn farmers in the state.
In addition to this, Trump has emphasized the importance of preventing foreign influences from undermining America’s manufacturing jobs, a message he believes will resonate with voters in Fort Dodge, a city that is home to some of the country’s largest trucking companies.
Aside from targeting his primary rivals in 2024, Trump has escalated his rhetoric against the Democratic Party and its leader, Joe Biden, by framing the race as a rematch of the general election in 2024.