DES MOINES, Iowa — In modern political history, a former president has never ran in his party’s primary race. Former President Donald Trump faces that challenge in his third bid for the White House.
Both Iowa voters and members of Iowa’s congressional delegation are ready for what will be a unique caucus season; and are completely open to moving on from the former president.
“You know we look at Governor DeSantis, we look at President Trump, both big names in the Republican party right now, both titans competing for where we think the Republican Party might be in the future. But I think there’s a lot of bandwidth here for Iowans to weigh in with a new vision of where they want the country headed,” said Congressman Zach Nunn, (R) IA-03.
Rep. Nunn outlined on Monday morning what he calls a “dynamic bench of Republicans who are coming to Iowa right now”. He also believes the early primary race is closer than what polls are indicating.
“I’ll push back, you know, on national polling who think that maybe one or two candidates are running away. I’d offer this is a very competitive field,” said Nunn. Several polls of Iowa voters shows Trump with a double-digit lead over the Florida governor.
He explained that how Iowans communicate with candidates is what makes him believe it’s wide open. Adding that anyone can move the needle by getting boots on the ground and talking to family farmers, folks going out on main streets in small towns, etc.
Undecided voters at Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride on Saturday echoed Nunn’s sentiment about Iowa voters.
“I want to see if there is someone out there who may be able to provide us with the same type of (Trump’s) leadership and commitment to get things done,” said Ron Paar, from Shenandoah.
“And less negative rhetoric, I am so tired of the negativity,” said Rita Paar, after her husband shared his willingness to hear all candidates out.
Sen. Ernst said after her annual fundraiser that Iowans want to keep looking into the future and not what has happened in the past. Directing those comments at both the former and current president.
“Americans, and you saw it demonstrated here by these Iowans, they are hungry for this change. And all of these candidates presented an exceptional pathway to the White House in 2024,” said Sen. Joni Ernst.
An already crowded field is expected to grow during the week. With former Vice President Mike Pence announcing his bid on Wednesday in Iowa, and Chris Christie is believed to announce his run on Tuesday.