Monday, February 26

Trump Tells Iowa Crowd to ‘Work Really Hard’ for His Nomination

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(Bloomberg) — Former President Donald Trump sought to rally his campaign volunteers for Iowa’s Republican Party caucuses on Jan. 15 while keeping up attacks on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who’s also campaigning in the state this weekend. 

“If you would, work really hard, make sure you are working that night, bring as many people as you can to vote and do the caucus like nobody has ever done the caucus before,” Trump told a rally in Ankeny, north of Des Moines, on Saturday. “We have to win.” 

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With a little more than a month to go, Trump is stepping up his efforts in Iowa as the first Republican nominating contest of 2024 will set the stage for the rest of the campaign.

He began on Saturday with well-known critiques of President Joe Biden, slamming the immigration and energy policies as he seeks to focus on their expected rematch in next November’s presidential election. Meanwhile, DeSantis, who polls suggest is Trump’s closest competitor in Iowa, seems to be dropping “like a very very sick bird,” he said. 

Trump’s advisers have stepped up involvement in state operations and he has increased visits to Iowa in recent months. When Trump is occupied with court appearances, his campaign has deployed volunteers to small-town parades, festivals and events across the state and is ramping up ad spending. 

Read more: Trump Steps Up Iowa Push, Looking to Lock Up Nomination Early

Trump will skip the next Republican presidential debate on Wednesday to attend a fundraiser for his campaign in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The Republican nomination front-runner has skipped every debate so far, arguing he wouldn’t benefit from allowing his rivals to attack him.

Trump leads with 60%, according to the FiveThirtyEight average of national polls, with DeSantis at 12.6% and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at 9.5%. In the third quarter, the former president raised $45.5 million, tens of millions more than his opponents.

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