Casey DeSantis Encourages Republicans Nationwide to Vote in Iowa Caucus

Casey DeSantis Encourages Republicans Nationwide to Vote in Iowa Caucus – Casey DeSantis, the spouse of Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, has caused concern among Iowa party officials. She encouraged her husband’s backers nationwide to participate in the upcoming caucuses, incorrectly claiming on Fox News that it was permissible for out-of-state residents to do so, sparking controversy.

“We’re asking all of these moms and grandmoms to come from wherever it might be, North Carolina, South Carolina and to descend upon the state of Iowa to be a part of the caucus,” she said, citing a Mamas for DeSantis coalition of 1.1 million mothers and grandmothers she said was influential in Florida during his 2022 re-election.

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“You do not have to be a resident of Iowa to be able to participate in the caucus. So moms and grandmas are going to be able to come and be a part and let their voice be heard and support Ron.” Ron DeSantis, despite prioritizing the crackdown on alleged election fraud for his second term as Florida governor, faces a setback. 

The Iowa Republican party clarified in a tweet that Iowa law limits caucus voting to in-state legal residents with photo ID, excluding out-of-state participants, even challenging DeSantis’s stance. Casey DeSantis faced significant online mockery and criticism following the incident, prompting her to swiftly initiate damage control measures.

A tweet on her own X account dated Friday night, several hours after the TV appearance, acknowledged voting was limited to registered voters in Iowa but insisted there were other ways to “participate”, including to come “from all over the country to volunteer in support of Ron DeSantis”. Despite her efforts at damage control, the video where she explicitly claimed outsiders could “be a part” of the caucus persisted. 

Michael McDonald, a political science professor and elections specialist at the University of Florida, highlighted that non-Iowans attempting to participate would be in violation of the law. Some scrutinized her husband’s measures in Florida, such as establishing a new office to investigate election crimes, despite minimal evidence of voter fraud. 

Additionally, attention was drawn to the prosecution of previously incarcerated individuals who voted illegally, despite state guidance suggesting otherwise—many of these cases have been dismissed by courts. Donald Trump’s 2024 Republican nomination campaign took advantage of the opportunity presented by the error. “Casey DeSantis’ embrace of voter fraud to salvage her husband’s failing campaign is not just wrong, it risks compromising the integrity of the Iowa caucus,” spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said in a statement.

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“This type of irresponsible and desperate rhetoric must be addressed by both Ron DeSantis and [Iowa] Governor Kim Reynolds, who campaigned for election integrity and was elected to protect the votes of Iowans. Both governors DeSantis and Reynolds must reject and condemn these comments and apologize to the great people of Iowa.” In the Iowa caucuses scheduled for January 15, Donald Trump holds a substantial lead in the polls, commanding 43.7% support according to the RCP poll average, while DeSantis trails behind in a distant second with 18.7%.

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