Trump is slated to visit the Hawkeye State on Wednesday, with visits planned to Maquoketa and Dubuque. The former president will kick off Wednesday with a Team Trump Iowa Commit To Caucus Event in Maquoketa before he heads to Dubuque.
These visits to Iowa are among the five for the former president in September and October. The first event on Wednesday will mark his eighth visit to Iowa this cycle, which is significantly less time than his rivals have spent in the state.
However, as a former president and a very clear frontrunner, Trump does not have to do as much campaigning as the rest of the field, who are all relatively lesser known to voters.
But there is growing urgency for Trump to bolster his standing in the state so he has enough momentum going into the rest of the primary.
“He sees Iowa very much in play, that this is not a sure victory for him,” Bob Vander Plaats, a Trump critic and the president and CEO of the Family Leader, told The Hill’s Julia Manchester. “If Trump is to get beat here, I think Trump knows and everybody else knows it’ll be game on to a nomination. If Trump wins here, I just don’t think anyone is going to beat him.”
Trump’s increased presence in Iowa also coincides with some recent comments he made about abortion, which could pose risks to his campaign in the state. Trump attacked DeSantis for his signing of a six-week abortion ban, calling the move “a terrible thing and a terrible mistake” during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Trump went on to say that he would find a solution with which “both sides will be happy.”
Julia reports that the comments have drawn criticism from anti-abortion activists and evangelicals, two groups that have played a major role in Trump’s success.
“I can’t speak for all caucusgoers but for the evangelical Christian community, it’s very troubling. Our goal is to see the number of weeks go down, not increase,” said Terry Amann, a Des Moines-based evangelical pastor who has met with Trump and several other GOP contenders, referring to abortion restrictions.
“It makes it really difficult for evangelicals and evangelical pastors like myself to really step up and give support because we just can’t support that type of position.”