Light Wave


Iowa Gov. Reynolds backs DeSantis in 2024 race, says Trump can’t win

By Jake Beardslee · November 7, 2023

In brief…

  • The endorsement comes despite Trump's comments on Reynolds for getting close to DeSantis
  • Reynolds and DeSantis will appear together in Iowa Monday evening
  • Trump reacted by saying the endorsement will end Reynolds' political career
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds endorsed Ron DeSantis for president in 2024, saying he can win the general election while Trump cannot and spurring backlash from the former president.  Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds broke from tradition Monday by endorsing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president in 2024. In a joint interview, Reynolds said she believes DeSantis can win the general election while Donald Trump cannot.

“I believe he can’t win,” Reynolds stated about Trump in an interview with NBC News. “And I believe that Ron can.”

Reynolds had previously pledged to stay neutral in the GOP primary. But she has appeared with DeSantis multiple times since he announced his candidacy in May.

DeSantis welcomed Reynolds’ endorsement, noting the enthusiasm he hears from Iowans about their governor. Reynolds argued that current polls showing Trump performing well are before the intensity of the general election campaign and Trump’s upcoming criminal trials.

Reynolds enjoys immense popularity among Iowa Republicans. It remains to be seen if her public campaigning for DeSantis will help him gain traction in the state.

Reynolds is breaking from the tradition of Iowa governors staying neutral in the caucuses. Trump reacted to the news, stating on Truth Social, “It will be the end of her political career in that MAGA would never support her again, just as MAGA will never support DeSanctimonious again.”

Reynolds and DeSantis will make a joint appearance in Iowa Monday evening, where she is set to formally announce her backing. Despite Trump’s reaction, Reynolds said her decision to endorse DeSantis was not motivated by the former president’s comments.