On Tuesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) brushed off comments from former President Donald Trump, calling her the “most unpopular governor in America,” and doubling down on her endorsement of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).
Reynolds endorsed DeSantis in the 2024 Republican presidential primary on Nov. 6, causing severe backlash from Trump and his allies. On Tuesday, the former president released a video, dismissing the impact of the Iowa governor’s endorsement of his rival in the GOP primary.
“Kim Reynolds of Iowa has gone from a popular governor to the most unpopular governor in the entire United States of America — not an easy feat,” Trump said.
Trump spoke in reference to a recent Morning Consult poll, reporting that she had the highest disapproval rating of any U.S. governor, at 47%.
Trump also said that Reynolds’ endorsement of DeSantis, who he referred to as a “wounded bird,” gives him “exactly zero bounce.” Trump currently has a 59.4% RealClearPolitics rating for the Republican presidential nomination, followed by DeSantis with 14%.
On Tuesday, Reynolds hit back at Trump in a post on X, calling DeSantis the “most effective leader I’ve ever seen.”
“It’s not about me. It’s about our country. [Ron DeSantis] follows through on his promises, can serve 8 years, and has a WINNING record,” the Iowa Republican governor said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “If you like what we are doing in Iowa, you’ll love what he’ll do for this country!”
Additionally, the DeSantis War Room put out a map of Iowa on X on Tuesday, showing that Reynolds outperformed Trump in every district in 2022 that he won in 2020. The post simply read, “interesting.”
Trump and Reynolds have always had some tension between them. The relationship, however, has soured further since Reynolds initially said that she would remain neutral in the Iowa caucuses. In August, Trump took credit for Reynolds’ success, saying, “I got her elected. I endorsed her.”
In August, Reynolds received a favorability rating of 81% in an Iowa poll, while Trump received a 65% favorability rating. Another poll from the state found that one fifth of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers would not vote for Trump in 2024, while two fifths of caucusgoers believed the former president should drop out if he is imprisoned on federal crimes.
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