- Bob Vander Plaats, a prominent social conservative leader in Iowa, has claimed that former Pres. Donald Trump is beatable in the nation's first primary state and suggested that he will endorse another candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.1
- Plaats is the CEO of the Family Leader, which hosted three of Trump's opponents — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy — for a 'family discussion' roundtable in Des Moines on Friday.2
- The Evangelical leader has become a vocal critic of Trump — who reportedly skipped the event just as he did during his first presidential run in 2015 — over the last few years and is expected to officially endorse DeSantis in the coming weeks.3
- Last-minute boosts from Iowa's Evangelical Christian voters have resulted in Plaats-endorsed candidates winning the state's first-in-the-nation caucus each of the last three elections — Mike Huckabee in 2008, Rick Santorum in 2012, and Ted Cruz in 2016.4
- Though the Iowa Caucus is set to officially kick off US primary elections in less than two months, Trump — the GOP frontrunner — is focusing on hosting large rallies to woo his supporters.5
- Meanwhile, while Plaats forecast that Trump's backing support may be as low as 35% by the time of the Jan. 15 caucuses, he's still the overwhelming favorite to win Iowa, despite the state's Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds endorsing DeSantis earlier this month.1
- Anti-Trump narrative, as provided by Newsweek. While he's seen as the favorite to win the Iowa Caucus, Trump's support is tenuous among the state's Evangelical base. Not only has DeSantis received Gov. Kim Reynolds' endorsement, but he's now set to be endorsed by Bob Vander Plaats, which could propel him to victory. Trump has been ignoring the debates and is now snubbing a critical conservative group in Iowa, which could lead to his loss in that state.
- Pro-Trump narrative, as provided by Conservative Brief. Trump is still the king of the GOP and is as popular in Iowa as ever. The establishment wants to take Trump down and is endorsing candidates like Ron DeSantis, but the truth is that the GOP base is overwhelmingly loyal to the former president. Plaats and Reynold's endorsements could propel DeSantis to second place, but Donald Trump will win the Iowa Caucus en route to earning the nomination by a landslide.