Poll: Iowa Republicans not sold on Ron DeSantis’ Hamas response
In Israel, Ron DeSantis inches closer to an

Israel US DeSantis
Fewer than 1 in 10 Iowans believe the Florida Governor is the best bet to deal with the current threat.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has messaged heavily around the state response in the weeks since Hamas attacked Israeli citizens. But new polling from a key early state in the presidential race suggests that message may be hitting deaf ears.

The Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll conducted from Oct. 22 to Oct. 26 shows that just 9% of likely Hawkeye State caucus participants believe the Florida Governor is the best bet in the GOP field to address the situation in the Middle East.

To put that number in perspective, that’s a little more than half of the 16% of Iowans who say they support his presidential run.

Iowans seem more comfortable to have foreign policy handled by people with proven records in the executive branch.

Former President Donald Trump is seen as the best option by 52% of respondents, while former United Nations envoy Nikki Haley is regarded as the strongest by 22%. Each of those numbers exceeds their performance in the overall poll, which finds Trump at 43% and Haley tied with DeSantis in second place at 16%.

“Just 34% of DeSantis’ own supporters say he would be best at handling the war, while 32% of his supporters say Trump would be best, and 18% name Haley,” the Register notes.

DeSantis, the only military veteran in the field and one who served in the Middle Eastern theater, has advised caution as far as active American involvement in what he said would be a “blunder” of a war. He has described American troops deployed to the region as “sitting ducks” and has pressed President Joe Biden to explain the strategy, thus far to no avail.

He also has made comments critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, describing the public as “very disenchanted” with the Likud regime, with the Hamas attacks a “big problem” for them.

DeSantis has been sharply critical of Hamas also, saying that if those “barbarians had their way, they would try to do a second Holocaust in our time,” describing the Oct. 7 terror attacks as the “personification of evil.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • My Take

    November 1, 2023 at 11:55 am

    He panders, he prattles.
    He has to talk.
    But knowing something?
    In not a few subjects, nothing more than òpinion on the street.

  • MH/Duuuval

    November 1, 2023 at 11:57 am

    There were stories at the time that US troops sent into Lebanon by Reagan carried weapons but not been issued ammo. Reagan apparently thought Hezbollah would be cowed by the mere appearance of 300 combat Marines, possibly the result of spending WWII making propaganda movies in Hollywood. Reagan learned his lesson and, the next time out, paid the contras to wage war on infrastructure and non-combatants in Nicaragua.

    • PeterH

      November 1, 2023 at 12:04 pm

      I became an independent voter after eight embarrassing miserable years under the Reagan regime. His tripling of the National Debt only assisted with my decision.

      • MH/Duuuval

        November 1, 2023 at 5:25 pm

        True, but little known or remembered that Ronnie — like W and Trump — cut revenues by giving large tax breaks to the top bracket. This is the type of thriftless spending Republicans ought to be looking at. Instead, MAGA Mike wants to cut back on IRS funds that, among other helpful things like improved customer service wait times, have focussed on tax cheating among the top ten percent of earners. An effrontery to working folks who pay more in taxes than Trump paid each of two years because of all his “losses.”

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