2024 GOP Presidential Hopefuls Already Inundating Iowa Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, speaks during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., April 21, 2021. (GRAEME JENNINGS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 01 September 2021 11:55 AM
Iowa already has become a popular destination for potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates.
Former President Donald Trump, who has not announced whether he will run again, already has hired two GOP operatives in Iowa, The Hill reported.
"Even if he doesn’t run in 2024, that guarantees that he has a strong Iowa footprint that really makes his endorsement and his involvement like the kingmaker," Republican strategist Andrew Clark told The Hill.
Trump is expected to hold a rally in the Hawkeye State soon, The Hill said.
The former president is not the only Republican focusing on Iowa, which traditionally holds the first-in-the-nation presidential contest.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio visited Iowa on Monday and Tuesday. Among his stops was a state party event in Clear Lake on Monday night.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz campaigned with Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson at her at her reelection campaign launch last week.
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton stumped with Hinson last month at a fundraiser in Fayette, Iowa.
Other potential GOP presidential hopefuls who have visited Iowa recently include former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
"This has got to be one of the busiest years in the first year of a caucus cycle that we’ve seen," Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann told The Hill.
Iowa's popularity among presidential contenders also is a result of the party's hopes of winning control of the House and Senate in next year's midterm elections.
Hinson and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa — both first-term incumbents — could face uphill reelection battles. They both flipped blue districts to red last year.
Republicans also are aiming to defeat Democrat Rep. Cindy Axne in Iowa.
Cruz discussed the importance of Iowa in the GOP's fight to win back control of the House during his visit last week.
"The road to revival comes through Iowa, and the road to bring America back to greatness comes through the great state of Iowa," Cruz said.
The numerous visits by potential presidential aspirants has reminded people that the Iowa Democrat caucuses last year were blasted for needing three days to report a winner — a debacle that has prompted some people to question the reliability of the contests.
Republicans, though, have not had as many recent issues.
"[The visits] couldn't come at a better time when the Democrats are seriously questioning whether Iowa should start their process," Kaufmann said. "Here, we’ve got people all over the country making the case for us by the destination of their plane tickets.
"If I put on my Republican Party of Iowa hat, this shows me that the candidates in many ways have already made up their mind that Iowa should be first in the nation."