Landing Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ endorsement was the first bit of good news for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seemingly in forever.
Suddenly, the narrative surrounding his campaign wasn’t about his lagging fundraising or weak polling — or his rival Nikki Haley’s rise.
Instead, as DeSantis joined Reynolds in front of crowds of supporters in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, he looked like a candidate still very much in this race. He was, Reynolds said, someone who “gets things done.” She called the Florida governor “one of the most effective leaders that I have ever seen.”
The lasting impact of the endorsement is doubtful, of course. Endorsements can matter in presidential races. Just look at what Rep. James Clyburn’s backing did for now-President Joe Biden ahead of the South Carolina primary he rode to the nomination in 2020.
But the problem for DeSantis is that the frontrunner in the GOP primary isn’t some Republican equivalent of a Pete Buttigieg or, even, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
It’s Donald Trump.
And as much as Iowa Republicans may like Reynolds, they like the former president a lot, too. A Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll last week showed Trump running ahead of DeSantis and