Trump Campaign Sends Iowa Mailers Accusing DeSantis of Caucus Rigging

Donald trump election

No one is safe from former President Donald Trump’s accusations of election fraud, not even his fellow Republicans — specifically Florida governor and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. 

While Trump’s baseless accusations of election fraud tend to focus on President Joe Biden, ahead of the anniversary of Jan. 6 Trump’s campaign mailed out flyers accusing DeSantis of “trying to rig the Iowa Caucus,” which is set to take place on Jan. 15. NBC News confirmed the mailer’s authenticity and its connection to the Trump campaign.  

“STOP THE FRAUD. REJECT DESANTIS ON JANUARY 15TH,” the mailer says. The accusation of caucus-rigging against DeSantis stems from a December interview given by the governor’s wife, Casey DeSantis, who encouraged “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, because you do not have to be a resident of Iowa to be able to participate in the caucus.”

You must be a resident of Iowa to participate in the caucuses, and Casey DeSantis later clarified that “while voting in the Iowa caucus is limited to registered voters in Iowa, there is a way for others to participate. I’m calling on mamas and grandmamas from all over the country to come volunteer in support of Ron DeSantis in the Iowa caucus.” 

Regardless, the Trump campaign is now exploiting the comments to accuse the DeSantis camp of intentional election rigging. The flyer features two headlines characterizing Casey DeSantis’ comments as an intentional call for election fraud. 

It’s not the first time a Republican presidential candidate has used controversial mailers as a last-ditch bid to sway voters before the Iowa caucuses. In 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sent out flyers telling Iowans that they had a “VOTING VIOLATION” on their electoral voting record. 

“You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well,” the flyer said. “CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.”

The mailer prompted an irate response from Iowa’s Secretary of State Paul Pate, who wrote that “there is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting. Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping with the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses.”


Cruz ultimately won the Iowa Caucuses, prompting Trump — who came in second — to accuse him of having “illegally” stolen the primary. “Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified,” Trump wrote on X, then Twitter. 

Even if the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses is intended to be positive, one can rest assured that Trump will do everything he can to make them incredibly unpleasant for all of his rivals. 

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