Ron DeSantis still thinks he is going to be the next US president

Ron DeSantis in Iowa

Florida governor Ron DeSantis still believes he is going to be the next president of the United States, despite flopping in all polls and placing distant second behind Donald Trump’s big win in Iowa.

On Monday (16 January) former president Trump won a huge victory in the Iowa caucuses – the first race of the 2024 Republican primary – with other GOP candidates DeSantis, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy languished second, third and fourth respectively.

Ramaswamy subsequently dropped out of the race and threw his support behind Trump.

Trump scored the majority with 51 per cent (56,260 votes), whilst DeSantis was much further behind with 21.2 per cent (23,420 votes) which just edged him over Haley who received 19.1 per cent of the vote (21,085 votes).

Speaking to his voters, DeSantis thanked them for their support and celebrated the result after critics “threw everything but the kitchen sink at us” and still insisted he will be the US’s 47th president.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do but I can tell you this, as the next president of the United States I am going to get the job done for this country.” He told the cheering crowd.

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“I am not going to make any excuses and I guarantee you this: I will not let you down.”

DeSantis has made a name for himself as a hard-right, vehemently anti-LGBTQ+ candidate who is fighting his campaign as a culture warrior who rallies against anything ‘woke’.

During his time as governor of Florida, DeSantis has been embroiled in a much-publicised war with Disney and passed a number of anti-queer bills including the deeply controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill – which bans classroom discussions about anything related to sexuality and gender.

His legislation has also seen the removal of LGBTQ+ books from schools and restriction of access to gender-affirming care for minors, as well as banning an AP African American studies course from Florida high schools as he claimed it lacked “educational value”. 

The wave of anti-LGBTQ+ bills has lead human rights groups to warn LGBTQ+ folks against visiting Florida.

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at his caucus night event on January 15, 2024 in West Des Moines, Iowa.(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Despite his hard-right stance, DeSantis does not seem to be connecting with more moderate Conservative voters and has been flagging in the polls behind Trump throughout his campaign.

Trump – who is in the midst of legal trouble over his business activities, mishandling of classified documents and attempting to overturn the 2020 election – is still the favourite for the Republican candidacy, which means we could potentially see a Trump-Biden rematch in November when Americans head to the polls.

In response to Trump’s victory, current president Biden wrote on social media: “Looks like Donald Trump just won Iowa. He’s the clear front runner on the other side at this point. But here’s the thing: this election was always going to be you and me vs. extreme MAGA Republicans.”

He added “if you’re with us, chip in now”, urging supporters to contribute to his reelection campaign.