Any doubt one might have about Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis tossing in his hat for a chance at the White House in 2024 should be just about gone by now.
According to Fox News, DeSantis is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser next month -- a fundraiser hosted by Iowa Republican Rep. Randy Feenstra. Trips to Iowa by political power players like DeSantis tend to point strongly to a presidential run.
In most polling, DeSantis trails former President Donald Trump. However, DeSantis is easily Trump's strongest competitor, especially in key swing states like Florida and South Carolina. And perhaps Iowa at some point.
DeSantis is scheduled to appear at the fundraising event, called the "Feenstra Family Picnic," with his wife, Casey.
"NEWS: @RepFeenstra raised $540K in Q-1 to close period w/ $1.3M CoH. Who's Feenstra? The R who reps NW IOWA's ruby red 4th district, a popular stop for GOP WH contenders — & Feenstra often hosts, as he will May 13 when @RonDeSantisFL headlines the 'Feenstra Family Picnic,'" David Drucker tweeted.
NEWS: @RepFeenstra raised $540K in Q-1 to close period w/ $1.3M CoH. Who's Feenstra? The R who reps NW IOWA's ruby red 4th district, a popular stop for GOP WH contenders — & Feenstra often hosts, as he will May 13 when @RonDeSantisFL headlines the "Feenstra Family Picnic."
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) April 13, 2023
The popular Florida governor explained to Fox News why he was attending the event.
"In Iowa, like Florida, freedom is valued, parents’ rights are protected, and faith comes first," DeSantis told Fox News Digital. "Congressman Feenstra is a strong conservative with a record of delivering results, and I’m happy to support him."
While DeSantis hasn't formally declared, many believe he will undoubtedly join the 2024 race at some point. Making early stops in Iowa also suggests the same.
Iowa is a crucial state for presidential candidates because it holds the first-in-the-nation caucuses in the presidential primary season. This means that Iowa voters have the opportunity to weigh in on the selection of the presidential nominees before any other state.
Winning the Iowa caucuses can provide significant momentum for a candidate, as it demonstrates their ability to appeal to a diverse range of voters and build a successful campaign infrastructure. Candidates who perform poorly in Iowa may struggle to gain traction in subsequent primaries, as their campaign is seen as lacking momentum and support.
In most election cycles, Iowa is where candidates want to score the most early points, for obvious reasons.
The governor will have the opportunity to assert his popularity with Republican voters on May 13 in Sioux Center, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by Fox News Digital.
Only time will tell if he formally jumps into the race, but if he does, it's going to be one wild primary cycle.