DeSantis, Haley Combine To Spend $72 Million In Iowa

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley combined to spend $72 million on ads in the state of Iowa to each come 30 points or more behind Iowa caucus winner former President Donald Trump.

Trump left Iowa with around 53% of the vote followed by DeSantis with 21% and Haley with 18%.

To finish with more than half of the vote, ad spending attributed to pro-Trump groups came in at just $18.3 million. In contrast, to finish in second place DeSantis’ campaign spent $35 million and Haley’s campaign spent $37 million to finish in third.

Overall spending in Iowa attributed to all GOP campaigns or their affiliated political action committees (PAC) set a record in Iowa with more than $123 million spent.

While the Iowa caucus determines only 40 of the 1,215 needed to win the nomination, Iowa is far more important for momentum than just for the number of delegates given.

“How you do in Iowa forms a narrative that leads you into New Hampshire. Thinking you can generate momentum out of thin air, with just a week between the two, is a fallacy,” said Matt Gorman, former senior adviser to the Tim Scott campaign.

If the Iowa caucus is a momentum builder, only one GOP candidate can claim victory and that is Donald Trump. DeSantis and Haley may stay in the race for now, but finishing 30 points behind is not only difficult to come back from, it is also the largest margin in Iowa caucus history with the next widest at just 12.8 points.

According to Breitbart, “The top issue for Republican caucusgoers was immigration (40 percent), followed by the economy (35 percent), foreign policy (11 percent), and abortion (11 percent).”

Polling shows that Trump holds a lead in New Hampshire as well, but his lead over Haley is only around 15 points rather than the 50-plus points that the national polls show. If Haley can pull out a win in New Hampshire, the race could tighten up, but if Trump runs away again it will be difficult for anyone to compete with him.