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It’s becoming quite evident that Iowa is unmistakably “Trump country.” The former president has maintained a commanding lead in the state, but recently has stepped up his game considerably to the point where his challengers are beginning to read the writing on the wall.

According to a recent poll, President Trump has now surpassed the 50% threshold. That’s “YUGE”, as the Magadonians would say:

This poll likely triggered a recent and very dramatic shift in the DeSantis camp’s messaging. Up until now, they had been confidently promising a massive victory in Iowa. However, in a remarkable turn of events, the DeSantis team is now suggesting that achieving “second place” would be a victory for them. It’s truly a significant departure in their messaging that appears to concede that their candidate is still struggling to “catch on.”

Yahoo News:

He’s made a close ally in the state’s governor. He attended the state fair, and yucked it up with Republican voters in person. But Ron DeSantis still can’t seem to make any headway against Donald Trump in Iowa.

Now, a DeSantis campaign official is telling Politico that the Florida governor’s campaign is preparing for the likelihood of a second-place finish in the first-in-the-nation caucus next year. Doing so, they say, would underscore the GOP primary as a two-person race.

“We believe it’s already a two-person race,” the official, described as being in a position of seniority in the campaign, told Politico: “But the reality is, on the ballot there are other choices, and our goal is to get this down to a two-person race on the ballot, especially as we head into South Carolina and beyond into March.”

The same official claimed that Mr DeSantis’s team would be happy with a “strong second-place showing” and rejected the idea that any specific state, even the governor’s own home state, was must-win territory.

They added: “I would say there’s a lot of pressure on the former president of the United States not to lose Iowa.”

The headline is the latest piece of bad news for Mr DeSantis, who has long sat behind Mr Trump in second place throughout polling of the 2024 GOP field. Most worrisome for the governor, that same polling clearly shows that his rivals are a lot closer to dethroning him for the runner-up spot than he is to taking the lead. The most recent survey from Iowa State’s polling outfit seems to show Mr DeSantis holding on for now, but the governor remains nowhere close to where he needs to be to come within striking distance of Mr Trump in the later rounds of caucusing, when lower-performing candidates are eliminated from contention.

President Trump also maintains strong poll numbers when matched against Joe Biden, who recently concluded one of his most embarrassing overseas trips yet. During his visit to Vietnam, Biden’s behavior was so erratic that they had to cut his microphone. At one point, he was rambling, and during the confusion, he blurted out that he was going to bed.

If Iowa is any indication,  the country is eager to transition away from the weary and confused Joe Biden and the Democrats’ unpopular and failed policies.