Former President Donald Trump made an appearance at the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity tailgate before attending the Cy-Hawk game in Iowa. He engaged with supporters, flipping burgers and handing out autographed footballs as the crowd chanted his name. Trump expressed his appreciation for the turnout, stating, “I guess the youth likes Trump. We love Iowa.”
After mingling with fans and signing autographs outside Jack Trice Stadium, Trump watched the game from a private box. Despite facing 91 criminal charges, the former president maintains a double-digit lead in Iowa’s polls. Nevertheless, other candidates also made their presence known at the rivalry game.
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, while campaigning at various tailgates, disregarded the current polling numbers. He stressed that the polls did not accurately reflect the sentiments on the ground and national media’s impression of the race. Hutchinson spoke to potential caucusgoers at the Iowa State Fair, emphasizing the significance of Iowa in determining the future direction of the election.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis joined in the pre-game festivities, interacting with supporters, taking selfies, and shaking hands at the tailgates. He later watched the game alongside Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds at Jack Trice Stadium. DeSantis believes that his grassroots approach and increased presence in Iowa will contribute to his ability to surpass Trump’s lead.
DeSantis acknowledged the upcoming January vote as a pivotal moment and emphasized the importance of continued efforts to mobilize supporters. He stated that people recognize the effectiveness of their work so far, but acknowledged that more work needs to be done to secure victory in the election.