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Republicans favor Trump over DeSantis

Former+President+Donald+Trump+waves+to+the+crowd+before+the+Iowa+Corn+Cy-Hawk+Series+football+game+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+9%2C+2023%2C+at+Jack+Trice+Stadium+in+Ames.
Daniel Jacobi II
Former President Donald Trump waves to the crowd before the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series football game on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames.

Republicans favor former President Donald Trump over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with a total of 57.3% of Republicans favoring Trump, according to data from FiveThirtyEight.

“If [the Trump base has not] turned on Trump in light of his presidency, his campaign tactics and all of the other revelations that have been coming out about his business practices and his alleged criminal behavior, then I don’t think that they are going to turn away from him,” Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center, Karen Kedrowski said.

Kedrowski said DeSantis has been consistently polling behind Trump nationally, which has been backed by polls such as the one from FiveThirtyEight. Kedrowski added that some Republicans see DeSantis as a copy of Trump.

“[Desantis’] tactic was that ‘I’m Trump without the baggage and I can serve two full terms, whereas President Trump can only serve one more term,’ and the question is, why would we take a copy if we can have the original?” Kedrowski said.

Brandon Kamstra, a senior in kinesiology and health, said he prefers Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley over Trump.

“Honestly, I’m kind of on the anti-Trump train, and it’s kind of broken down into like a list of people that support him and people that don’t support him,” Kamstra said.

Kamstra said he is not a fan of Vivek Ramaswamy or DeSantis either. He said he is looking for a candidate who is willing to be cooperative with the Democratic party.

“It seems like a lot of the Republican Party is moving to a point where they don’t even want to have a conversation with anybody else that has a different opinion,” Kamstra said. “It’s polarizing because they create labels […] Ramaswamy has quite a few labels for different things, and just people that he’s not even willing to talk to, and that’s not what I want to see a politician representing me.”

Kamstra said he favors Haley due to her willingness to hold civil conversations.

“She’s strong, but she’s shown that she’s been moderate enough to be willing to have a conversation and make compromises to actually see stuff get done, and not just shut down the government when they get upset,” Kamstra said.

Appeal

Kedrowski said both Trump and Desantis use the border with Mexico as a tactic to rally support, adding that they use fear-mongering tactics to build a sense of urgency with their supporters.

“I think a lot of Republicans are capitalizing on this because it appeals to white nationalism and a threat of othering,” Kedrowski said. “Politicians like Gov. [Kim] Reynolds and Gov. [Doug] Burgum in North Dakota have been talking about sending the national guard to the Texas border, as this notion of protecting their people from a threat.”

Kedrowski said DeSantis also uses the culture war to further garner support.

“He defines it as wokeness,” Kedrowski said. “The term ‘woke’ would simply be, for those who espouse that as a slang term, would say that it is being sensitive to other people’s experiences, and not to think that you have any sort of corner on the truth or that your experiences are typical of all individuals. But DeSantis has really been successful and recasting this as somehow being synonymous with what they see as crazy policies.”

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