Ron DeSantis Says He Wants People To Lower Their Expectations For Him

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In an interview this weekend on ABC with host Jonathan Karl ahead of Iowa’s presidential nominating contest for the GOP presidential primary, Florida’s GOP Governor Ron DeSantis insisted he was positioned to do well, though he also said that he’d like to see observers lower their expectations for his campaign.

DeSantis officially joined the GOP primary on about the tail end of a surge of support for the well-known Florida governor in polls. He’s since sunk — colossally, with former President Donald Trump now seemingly on track to win the nomination. And that’s despite, of course, the former president’s wide-ranging criminal charges and obsessive focus on the past, particularly his debunked conspiracy theories of systematic fraud in the presidential race that happened now four years prior.

“When folks want to count you out […] when they wanna cite these polls — I mean, I think our supporters here — and I think Iowans generally, I think they roll their eyes at some of these polls, because how you can poll a caucus, much less one in -22,” DeSantis posited, somewhat trailing off. “So, our voters are ready. […] We’re going to do well. But I’d rather have people count us out. I’d rather have people lower expectations for us. I tend to perform better like that.”

DeSantis does not appear on track for any substantial headway against Trump in the primary, and neither does any other candidate, a list that’s shrunk but still features even ex-Trump administration official Nikki Haley, who’s received several high-profile endorsements. That list includes current GOP Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire and former GOP Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland… but again, none of this seems to be propelling her far enough. The Iowa caucus amid the GOP’s broader race will, as caucuses go, be an in-person affair, with weather therefore potentially affecting participation levels and making smaller groups have more impact, as DeSantis was somewhat discussing.