CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA — Iowa voters told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they believe only former president Donald Trump has “proved himself” capable of getting America back on track during an event in Iowa Saturday.
The Trump campaign held a “Commit to Caucus Event” in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at a local community college and, like most of Trump’s events, the room was packed with over 500 attendees. Before the former president took the stage, Iowa voters who spoke with the DCNF said that it “wasn’t even close” between Trump and the other GOP candidates because “he’s a leader” with a proven track record.
“He’s proved himself. He’s a leader,” said Paul Tyson, an Iowa electrician. “I mean, if you wanted to look up leader in the dictionary, you would see Trump. He knows how to lead a group of people and the other ones are still trying to figure it out. He’s got such a background for leading and rallying people together for a cause.”
Barth, a chiropractor and Iowa, resident told the DCNF that poll numbers speak for themselves about why voters prefer Trump. Trump is currently leading the race in Iowa at 47%, with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis coming second at 17.3%, according to recent polls aggregated by RealClearPolitics.
Barth said that none of the other candidates have actually been in the White House or have delivered on their promises on the economy, the border and protecting American interests, making it an easy decision. Other voters also mentioned that they felt much safer when Trump was in office due to his handling of the border crisis.
DeSantis often came in second for Iowa voters who spoke with the DCNF, but one said that while he liked some things the governor had done in Florida, he felt like DeSantis had “stabbed Trump in the back.” One voter, Emma, who is a small business owner and worked on six presidential campaigns, said that she was also interested in Vivek Ramaswamy, noting that he was much younger and “more polished” than some of the other candidates, but her top choice would always be Trump.
“I voted for him the first time, the second time and this time will be the third,” Emma told the DCNF. “He’s the only one that has what it takes. He’s the only one that can actually do the job.”
When asked whether Trump could beat Biden in a general election after losing in 2020, several voters did raise concerns about the “weaponization of the government,” arguing that the criminal and civil charges against Trump are just ploys to stop him from getting elected.
“They’re attacking him because he’s up for us,” Tyson said.
Most voters told the DCNF spoke to said that they hope Trump addresses the economy during his speech Saturday, expressing dismay with how high inflation and the cost of living has risen under President Joe Biden.
Some religious voters told the DCNF that they were displeased that Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and Bob Vander Plaats, founder of the FAMILY Leader, had endorsed DeSantis for Iowa instead of Trump, but said that it ultimately would not matter because Iowa’s religious community is behind the former president.
“Trump has the religious vote here,” Debra Tyson, a business owner, told the DCNF. “It still comes back down to his record and leadership. He did what he said, he did he kept his promises to the American people from the get-go. And that’s been proven over and over again. So yeah, religious Americans are behind him.”
Kate Anderson on December 2, 2023