Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma said that he thinks GOP presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis is going to “shock the world” at the Iowa caucuses during an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
With less than a month before voters weigh in at the Iowa caucuses, former president Donald Trump is well in the lead at 51.3%, with DeSantis trailing behind him in second place at 18.6%, according to RealClearPolitics.
DeSantis’ team has been putting significant effort into the ground game and Stitt, who endorsed the Florida governor in June, joined him at several events on Wednesday and Thursday, telling the DCNF that he’s “excited” for January, despite the polling.
“I think DeSantis is going to shock the world here and it’s going to be exciting to see,” Stitt said. “I wouldn’t worry about polls. It’s all about what’s going to happen on January 15th in Iowa.”
The Oklahoma governor told the DCNF that Iowa voters are “lucky” to have the chance to “shape” who will win the 2024 GOP nomination.
“What I’ve been telling Iowans on the ground is the whole world is watching you,” Stitt said. “I mean, Oklahoma, is watching Iowa. You guys are so lucky. You get to vet all these candidates and help determine and shape who you think is the best person for our country.”
Stitt also argued that polling has not always been an accurate portrayal of past elections. He noted that during his own reelection campaign, polls had shown him occasionally even losing the race to Democrat Joy Hofmeister, who he eventually beat by over 13 percentage points, according to OK Election Results.
“I think people are so disappointed with polling and who’s pushing those polls,” Stitt told the DCNF.
DeSantis has also secured significant endorsements from Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and Bob Vander Plaats, president of The FAMiLY Leader, a Christian nonprofit in Iowa, and completed one of his early campaign promises in December to visit all 99 counties in the state.
Voters who spoke to the DCNF at campaign events, however, indicated that while they liked DeSantis, they felt most Iowans were still trying to decide who to cast their ballot for and admitted that they weren’t convinced the polling was accurate.
It is a “clear choice” that a Republican president for eight years is much better than one with only four years, Stitt told the DCNF. He claimed that all the “turmoil and lawsuits” surrounding Trump would completely overshadow the former president’s final term and that the country needs a “fresh slate.”
“We’d be there for eight years,” Stitt said. “It’d be amazing … You get all the conservative policies without any of the baggage really and so for me, that’s the biggest thing, somebody who can be there for eight years and somebody that will not back down.”
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