Why DeSantis Says Trump’s Iowa Win Is a Sign of Weakness

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To Donald J. Trump’s campaign, his win in the Iowa caucuses by a record 30-point margin was a sign he would steamroll to the nomination. To hear Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida tell it, the result was actually a sign of the former president’s weakness.

Mr. DeSantis began offering on Friday a public version of private commentary he has been making: that Mr. Trump’s failure to get much more than roughly 50 percent of the vote during caucuses with the lowest turnout in decades indicates an inability to galvanize the Republican base in a way that signals danger in a general election.

Speaking at a news conference outside the site of a planned debate that was canceled after Nikki Haley, a former United Nations ambassador under Mr. Trump, said she would not take part without her former boss onstage, Mr. DeSantis declared that Mr. Trump’s performance in Iowa was a “warning sign for the party in November.”

“It’s not that it was a weak result to win the caucus,” Mr. DeSantis said. “It’s a question of what does that portend for November and how the Republican base is going to be energized or not energized.”

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Why DeSantis Says Trump’s Iowa Win Is a Sign of Weakness

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