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Iowa State Daily

Reynold’s endorsement of DeSantis makes little difference, poll suggests

During+his+speech%2C+former+President+Donald+Trump+took+credit+for+maintaining+Iowa%E2%80%99s+first-in-the-nation+status+and+avoided+direct+attacks+from+major+rivals.
Cleo Westin
During his speech, former President Donald Trump took credit for maintaining Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status and avoided direct attacks from major rivals.

Gov. Kim Reynolds endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Nov. 6 for the presidential election, but a new poll from Iowa State shows the endorsement has made little difference to voters.

Dave Peterson, a professor in political science at Iowa State, stated that he observed that Reynold’s endorsement received mixed reviews from voters. She maintained her own approval rating of over 70%, but 63% of survey respondents reported her endorsement made no difference to their vote. Her endorsement made 22% of those polled less likely to support DeSantis while 13% said they were more likely to support him after.

Donald Trump leads the nomination comfortably, with DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie trailing him in that order. To find out more about the poll, click here.

Peterson stated he believes even with Trump’s large lead, Trump’s impact is still divisive among Republicans.

“I think that the weight of Trump’s candidacy is affecting the entire race,” Peterson stated in email communications with the Daily.  “Based on our data, there are three factions in the party: Trump loyalists, Trump skeptics and Trump opposition. This is based on a host of questions about the indictments he faces, election denial from 2020 and policy issues.

Peterson stated that the loyalists are backing Trump, the skeptics are backing DeSantis and the opposition have decided on Haley.

“People have made up their minds on those camps, and that feeds directly into the candidate choice,” Peterson stated.

Christie had the highest rate of opposition among survey respondents to be the nominee at around 30%, with Trump gaining the second most opposition with 18%.

The poll was taken from 1,016 registered voters in Iowa and recorded from Nov. 10–15. Polling was set up to be a five-part, monthly series and is designed to track shifting perspectives before the Iowa caucuses in January.

The Iowa State political science department has helped to fund the polls, along with the Lucken Professorship and the Iowa State College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The funding provided Peterson and four undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct polls and to compile reports about the upcoming caucuses.

Additional findings will be published as caucuses near and more poll results come in the next months. The next results are expected to be published in mid-December; however, Peterson does not foresee any big poll changes.

“At this point, I am not sure what would cause it to shift,” Peterson stated. “If Trump, DeSantis and Haley are in the race in January, I am starting to think that the final numbers will look a lot like [current polling numbers] … I am not sure what would lead someone who is currently supporting Trump to change their mind. As for the other candidates, they are still unknown enough to voters that serious gaffes could lead to defections from supporters. I doubt that there is much that they can do to attract new voters, but they can probably repel them.”

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