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Questions swirl about DeSantis campaign after governor lands second-place finish in Iowa

via C-SPAN
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis finished second in Iowa, outperforming polling expectations.

Despite Donald Trump’s decisive victory, DeSantis’s campaign sees the result as a positive step.

Questions linger about DeSantis’s momentum and funding to compete with Trump in future states. (Trending: 2024 Miss America Winner Crowned)

The DeSantis campaign boasted that he “earned his ticket out of Iowa.”

Former Ambassador Nikki Haley, who many pundits believed was surging in Iowa and could potentially finish ahead of DeSantis, finished in 3rd place a couple of points behind DeSantis.

A senior DeSantis campaign official said, “They threw everything at Ron DeSantis.”

“They couldn’t kill him. He is not only still standing, but he’s now earned his ticket out of Iowa. This is going to be a long battle ahead, but that is what this campaign is built for. The stakes are too high for this nation and we will not back down,” they continued.

DeSantis said, “I can tell you, because of your support, in spite of all of that they threw at us, everyone against us, we’ve got our ticket punched out of Iowa.”

“This is our responsibility to carry this torch and to preserve this sacred fire of liberty,” he continued.

“We thank you for your effort. We thank you for your support. You helped us get a ticket punched out of the Hawkeye State. We have 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. I am not going to make any excuses and I guarantee you this. I will not let you down,” promised the Florida governor.

Kellyanne Conway, former senior advisor to President Trump, said, DeSantis “should continue on whether he finishes second or third.”

Fox News Chief Political Analyst Brit Hume said, “Let’s not forget that second place has led to a lot of people winning the nomination in Iowa, you finish second in Iowa it’s worth something.”

“There are a lot of places where it wouldn’t be and in the coming races in the future it won’t be as much but out here when you win second you go on and who knows you might win the nomination,” he continued.

GOP strategist Alex Conant, founding partner at Firehouse Strategies, said, “Deciding to drop out is the hardest decision a presidential candidate can make. It’s deeply personal and emotional, no matter how obvious or rational it seems.”

“If DeSantis does not beat Trump in Iowa tonight, he won’t beat him anywhere and his campaign will be effectively over. But it will be up to him when to drop out, and that’s anyone’s guess,” continued the strategist.

While some suggest dropping out, the campaign is determined to continue.

DeSantis plans to campaign in South Carolina and New Hampshire, aiming for a long, scrappy campaign. Trump holds significant leads in both states.

“This campaign is built for the long-haul,” said DeSantis’ Communications Director Andrew Romeo.

“We intend to compete for every single available delegate in New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and then into March. That begins on Monday’s Iowa Caucus, and the next day we will kick our campaign into overdrive in both South Carolina and New Hampshire,” he continued.

“We hope Donald Trump is ready for a long, scrappy campaign as we work to share Ron DeSantis’ vision across America. Game on,” he added.

The DeSantis campaign emphasizes his endorsements in South Carolina compared to Nikki Haley.

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