Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has officially received the coveted endorsement from Iowa faith leader Bob Vander Plaats.
As CEO and President of The Family Leader, Vander Plaats seeks to “encourage the election of Christ-like leaders and promote righteous policy that honors God and blesses people.”
During his announcement on Fox News, Vander Plaats said that Gov. DeSantis is “a bold and courageous leader.”
BREAKING: Faith leader @bobvanderplaats endorses Ron DeSantis for president.
“Gov. DeSantis took a reliable toss-up state in Florida and made it complete red — won by 20 points…He’s also done that by being a bold and courageous leader.”
Vander Plaats endorsed the Iowa Caucus… pic.twitter.com/6vXR2dxZiP
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) November 21, 2023
“Gov. DeSantis took a reliable toss-up state in Florida and made it complete red — won by 20 points…He’s also done that by being a bold and courageous leader,” said Vander Plaats.
Gov. DeSantis himself thanked the Iowa evangelical for the endorsement with a social media post.
As I’ve made my way through 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties, Iowans have shared what a critical role @bobvanderplaats plays in engaging Iowa’s faith community in the key battles that matter. His support tells Iowans they can trust me to fight and win for them.
We’re thrilled to have… pic.twitter.com/7QO6CgVK4T
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) November 21, 2023
“As I’ve made my way through 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties, Iowans have shared what a critical role Bob Vander Plaats plays in engaging Iowa’s faith community in the key battles that matter. His support tells Iowans they can trust me to fight and win for them,” said DeSantis. “We’re thrilled to have Bob and Darla on Team DeSantis and are thankful for their friendship as we’ve gotten to know them throughout this campaign. The road to America’s revival starts in Iowa, and we will get the job done.”
Considering historical trends, the endorsement could lead to a short-term victory, but a long-term failure.
According to the Washington Post, Vander Plaats has supported the winners of the last three contested GOP Iowa Caucuses since 2008. Ironically, none of those candidates went on to win the Republican nomination.
A kiss of death, perhaps.
However, political rules and trends can be broken. Georgia went blue in 2020. Texas is slowly turning purple.
In 2020, former President Donald Trump (R) won three marquee swing states in Florida, Iowa, and Ohio but lost the election (the first and only time that has happened since the 1960 election).
Even DeSantis’ near-20-point victory in 2022 was way beyond what most pundits and pollsters expected. For instance, FiveThirtyEight gave the Florida governor a 12-point lead in their Election Day poll. DeSantis won by 19 points.
FiveThirtyEight currently has Gov. DeSantis down to President Trump by 27 points in Iowa.