Ron DeSantis campaign alleges ‘election interference’ as media calls Iowa early
Image via AP.

AP Desantis Iowa snow
Trump has majority support in the early count.

Gov. Ron DeSantis liked to tell a story at events where his son asked, regarding Iowa, “Is this Heaven?”

After a major under-performance in Monday night’s Hawkeye State caucuses, one could be asking if Iowa does indeed represent the beginning of the DeSantis presidential campaign entering the afterlife, given the campaign’s sharp reaction to the media calling the race, one that overshadowed the Governor’s speech to supporters hours later.

As expected, former President Donald Trump won and took at least a plurality of Iowa delegates, with more than 50% of the vote. The Associated Press and others called the race while caucuses were still underway based on early polls, vexing DeSantis’ campaign manager James Uthmeier, spokesperson Andrew Romeo and others from the Governor’s army of communicators.

“What happened tonight is appalling– the media calling the race for Donald Trump before votes had been cast. I personally spoke in multiple precincts in front of hundreds of voters. And while I’m presenting and delivering the closing arguments around just for Ron DeSantis, and actually flipping voters, people start getting alerts on their phone saying the race is over before they’ve even…one guy said, why why do we even bother voting if it’s already over? That is absurd. That challenges the very tenets of our Republican democracy. And that should not happen. We still expect a good night. I know, you know, it’s going to take a while for votes to come in. But you can’t taint the process like that, having a victory declared before people have even voted before arguments have been heard. That’s not right.”

“Absolutely outrageous that the media would participate in election interference by calling the race before tens of thousands of Iowans even had a chance to vote. The media is in the tank for Trump and this is the most egregious example yet,” Romeo posted to social media, then sent out to the media mailing list.

DeSantis Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw retweeted a social media post making a similar point: “They are calling it as the caucus sites are still ongoing. If that isn’t election interference I don’t know what is. They are literally trying to force people to go home because it’s already over according to the news networks. In 2024 news travels fast. We’ve become a dictatorship that picks our representatives. Wow, just wow!”

“I’m at a precinct that hasn’t even voted yet, and the media are trying to call the race for Trump,” fretted Jeremy Redfern, DeSantis’ taxpayer-funded spokesperson.

“Unbelievable the corporate media is attempting to determine this race for Iowans. I just left a precinct that hadn’t even started voting yet… they’re so desperate to push their preferred narrative they’re disregarding Iowans & trying to make the choice for them,” asserted yet another spokesperson, Taryn Fenske.

The meta-story from this election seemed to be, at least in the early going, disbelief from Team DeSantis that Trump was an enduring commodity in the caucus state, where the Governor courted endorsements from Kim ReynoldsBob Van Der Plaats, and other would-be kingmakers.

The Governor alluded to the election interference narrative as he spoke after 10:00 p.m Central Time, but offered a more positive narrative overall about how he got his “ticket punched out of the Hawkeye State” by finishing second.

“They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us, they spent almost $50 million attacking us. No one’s faced that much all the way just through Iowa. The media was against us. They were writing our obituary months ago. They even called the election before people even got a chance to vote.”

“But they were just so excited about the fact that they were predicting that we wouldn’t be able to get our ticket punched here out of Iowa. But I can tell you because of your support, in spite of all of that they threw at us, everyone against us, we’ve got our ticket punched out of Iowa.”

DeSantis did not have a plurality in any of the state’s 99 counties, all of which he famously visited as part of the “Full Grassley” loop to demonstrate interest in Iowa voters and values.

To underscore the under-performance, the battle for second place between DeSantis and Nikki Haley was the one to watch though. DeSantis’ 21% was good for second place.

Despite the Governor saying his ticket was punched, critics are declaring the Governor’s campaign done.

“Over the last seven months, Ron DeSantis set out to prove that the more you got to know Florida’s Governor, the less you would like him,” asserted DeSantis Watch. “DeSantis’ national political ambitions were pronounced dead tonight in Iowa.”

Florida Democratic Party chair Nikki Fried offered her own obituary, saying “the only person surprised at Ron DeSantis’s showing in Iowa is Ron DeSantis.”

“As a Floridian, it’s frankly been embarrassing to watch our governor continually humiliate himself on the national stage. Ron has spent countless hours and tens of millions of campaign dollars trying to run to the right of Donald Trump, but not even his custom boots could give him the lift he needs to be a serious contender for President,” Fried said.

Monday’s vote in Iowa has been nothing short of a reckoning for yet another Florida Man and his White House hopes. The next few days will tell how far the punched ticket and the eight delegates he got from Iowa takes the Governor.

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


14 comments

  • MH/Duuuval

    January 15, 2024 at 9:15 pm

    If one is fool enough to stay home and not vote or caucus because of some prediction, then there’s no hope for that poor soul.

  • Southern Pride

    January 15, 2024 at 9:24 pm

    Losers blame others; it’s what they do.

  • Rapid Response or Vapid Christine Pooshaw

    January 15, 2024 at 9:26 pm

    Pooshaw is off to Gaza I guess to work for Hamas…remember Christ-teen Pooshaw?

  • tom palmer

    January 15, 2024 at 10:14 pm

    That Trump won is not a news flash. It would be news if he did not. The question, of course is how the percentages for each candidate come out. Won’t know that for sure until tomorrow, I’m told. When the DeSantis team cries “We’re number three! We’re number three!” then it will be time to talk.

  • Marvin M.

    January 15, 2024 at 10:20 pm

    Ron, you didn’t win.
    It wasn’t the weather that made you lose.
    It wasn’t the media who made you lose.
    It wasn’t some subversive plot by Trump to switch votes to him instead of you.
    Despite all your hard work, going to all those counties, those counties still prefer Trump to you.
    If you want to win, you have to take Trump on. For real, hard-hitting stuff. He’s given you plenty of ammo to lob at him, start doing it or drop out, sooner rather than later. You do have another job to do, y’know.
    P.S. You won’t win your own state of Florida. Drop out before that deep, deep humiliation.

  • Michael K

    January 15, 2024 at 11:02 pm

    Poor Rhonda has electile dysfunction. Their whining makes them even more unattractive and does not change the results. Rhonda is a loser to an even bigger loser.

  • PeterH

    January 16, 2024 at 12:12 am

    The red State of Iowa has over 3 million citizens….. yet only 120,000 people show up to caucus? Maybe if Iowa participated in mail-in voting from home….the State could realize representative democracy!

  • Bill Pollard

    January 16, 2024 at 10:57 am

    I really don’t like the caucus method of voting. I participated in a presidential caucus years ago. My candidate in the initial round in my district came in second or third. The district caucus then was required to submit a unanimous vote for one candidate. Subsequent votes were taken until one candidate had a clear majority in the room and then that candidate took the entire vote for the district. My candidate was eliminated in the second round of voting. I felt like my vote counted for nothing.

    • MH/Duuuval

      January 16, 2024 at 12:22 pm

      A quick fix would be rank-choice voting, but Iowans love to keep down the primary numbers.

  • Elmo

    January 16, 2024 at 11:00 am

    Karma bites hard for the oppressor. Didn’t you get the memo, Ron?

  • Dont Say FLA

    January 16, 2024 at 11:44 am

    DeSantis suffered a season ending loss in Iowa, but will he be merciful and end it? Or will he carry it to term and then go to prison for corpse abuse?

  • Ron Forrest Ron

    January 16, 2024 at 11:58 am

    Does the AP declare winners and losers? No. The AP declares projected winners just as soon as the AP reaches a certain confidence level via math modeling. While that might affect primary voting states when people stay home because they don’t know what statistical projection is and they just think Trump won, that doesn’t affect caucus states where everyone showed up to caucus at the same time. Folks were already caucusing for half a hour before AP announced their projection. Were folks watching TV while caucusing? If so, and if they let the TV affect them, that’s on them.

  • MH/Duuuval

    January 16, 2024 at 12:21 pm

    Let’s see if the donor spigot gets turned off for Dee, or if good money will continue to follow bad.

    I don’t disagree with Dee about polling and the media’s early calling of elections: There ought to be a law, MAGAmites.

Comments are closed.


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