Nobody Showed Up to Ron DeSantis’ Iowa Meet and Greet

UPDATE: Challenges Abound for DeSantis at Iowa State Fair as Trump Looms As Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida set out

UPDATE: Challenges Abound for DeSantis at Iowa State Fair as Trump Looms

As Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida set out on a tour through the Iowa State Fair, he had hoped for a chance to shine in the spotlight. However, the presence of Donald Trump and his ardent supporters has made that aspiration a challenging endeavor.

The charismatic governor’s journey through the fairgrounds exposed him to unscripted interactions, a departure from the carefully orchestrated campaign scenes he typically enjoys. As he vies to gain traction against former President Donald J. Trump and aims to make his mark in Iowa’s pivotal nominating contest, DeSantis encountered a series of unexpected events that could easily rattle any candidate’s confidence in their political trajectory.

The convergence of these incidents, which were largely beyond his control, occurred just before a closely-watched joint appearance with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds at a “fair-side chat.” Adding an element of irony to the situation, a plane trailing a banner reading “Be likable, Ron!” flew overhead. The jest was a nod to advice DeSantis had received prior to a 2018 debate during his initial run for the Florida governorship.

During the interview itself, DeSantis faced yet another hurdle. A small group of liberal protesters armed with cowbells and whistles attempted to disrupt the conversation with Governor Reynolds. The latter, known for her “Iowa Nice” demeanor, took the moment to remind the crowd of the state’s characteristic politeness. Several of the protestors were escorted away by the Iowa State Patrol. Unlike other candidates who have experienced relatively smooth interviews with Reynolds, DeSantis found himself navigating a more unpredictable terrain.

As DeSantis prepares for a face-to-face encounter with the current front-runner, Donald J. Trump, at the Iowa State Fair, these unforeseen moments underscore the challenges he faces in capturing the political spotlight.

Original story [Aug. 7 2023]: Ron DeSantis, the OP nominee, faced a notable turnout setback during a meet and greet event in Iowa, as shared images online unveiled rows of empty seats at the venue.

The Florida Governor had hoped to rejuvenate his campaign through a series of events across Iowa over the weekend. DeSantis began his schedule by visiting Cedar Falls, having breakfast at the Vinton Family Restaurant, and later engaging in a meet and greet at a livestock auction in Tama.

However, a photo that quickly went viral on social media showcased a less-than-robust audience for DeSantis’ event in Tama. Tim Miller, a writer at The Bulwark, posted an image on X (formerly known as Twitter), revealing a sparse gathering at Spanky’s Livestock Auction on a Saturday.

The post, shared on August 5, has garnered over 935,600 views on the platform. The photo captured only a handful of attendees seated on benches within the auction space, while a significant portion of the area remained vacant.

Miller offered context in a subsequent tweet, noting, “Fwiw (for what it’s worth) DeSantis is doing a bunch of events this weekend, and not all have been this sparse. This is the reality when you reboot and have to do the grind it out, lots of small events Let Ron Be Ron deal.”

The image, however, prompted a response from Donald Trump’s campaign spokesman, Steven Cheung. Cheung took a jab at DeSantis, mocking the turnout by saying, “Tiny crowd for Ron DeSantis in a livestock auction venue. Nobody is buying what that heifer is selling.”