Frontrunner Trump to join ‘Hannity’ for Iowa town hall with less than six weeks until caucuses

PROGRAMMING ALERT: Watch the “Hannity” Town Hall with former President Trump on Fox News Channel at 9 p.m. ET. Donald Trump heads back to Iowa on Tuesday with just under six weeks to go until the state’s caucuses kick off the Republican presidential nominating calendar. The former president – the commanding frontrunner in the GOP nomination race as he makes his third straight White House run – returns to sit down with Fox News’ primetime opinion host Sean Hannity for a town hall in Davenport, Iowa. The town hall, which will be pre-taped in front of a live audience, will air at 9 p.m. ET on Fox News’ “Hannity.” Trump enjoys a very large double-digit lead in the most recent public opinion surveys in Iowa’s GOP caucuses over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who are fighting for second place in the Republican race in the Hawkeye State. DESANTIS STOPS IN ALL OF IOWA’S 99 COUNTIES, BUT WILL IT HELP HIM CLOSE THE GAP WITH TRUMP? “President Trump is taking his message directly to the people, like he’s always done,” Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita told Fox News.  LaCivita touted, “That’s why he’s dominating in every single poll across the country.” GAME ON IN IOWA WITH THE CAUCUSES CLOSING IN  Trump made history earlier this year as the first former or current president to be indicted for a crime, but his four indictments – including in federal court in Washington, D.C., and in Fulton County court in Georgia on charges he tried to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss – have only fueled his support among Republican voters. “Bring as many people as you can to vote, and do the caucus like nobody’s ever done the caucus before,” Trump told a crowd of supporters at a caucus organizing event Saturday in Ankeny, Iowa. “And we’re going to win.” Trump is aiming for a big victory next month in the caucuses to bring the nomination race to an early conclusion, so he can focus on a rematch with President Biden, who defeated him in the 2020 election. “The more we win, they’re going to see that signal for the November election,” Trump said this past weekend. THIS CANDIDATE REMAINS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT AS THE FIRST VOTES IN THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL RACE NEAR As Trump made two stops Saturday in Iowa, his campaign began ramping up their ad buys in the state in the final weeks ahead of the caucuses. The former president didn’t have Iowa to himself this past weekend. DeSantis fulfilled his goal of stopping in all of Iowa’s 99 counties. At his stop Saturday in Jasper County, he was joined by popular Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who endorsed him in early November. Also teaming up with DeSantis was Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The Family Leader, an influential social conservative organization in a state where evangelical voters play an outsized role in Republican politics. Vander Plaats endorsed DeSantis the weekend ahead of Thanksgiving. DeSantis has repeatedly vowed he’ll pull off an upset by winning Iowa. DeSantis is hoping to follow in the footsteps of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (2008), former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (2012) and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (2016), who stopped in all 99 counties en route to Iowa caucus victories. But none of those three won the GOP nomination. While Trump has hosted roughly 20 events in Iowa this year, the Florida governor has made around 130 stops, many of them hosted by the DeSantis-aligned super PAC Never Back Down. Additionally, the super PAC has spent millions to put together a formidable ground game in Iowa. However, what once appeared to be a two-candidate fight for the nomination is now a three-way battle. Haley, who has enjoyed momentum in the polls in recent months, thanks in part to well-received performances in the first three GOP presidential primary debates, has leapfrogged DeSantis for second place in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and votes second in the Republican nominating schedule, and her home state, which holds the first southern contest. She aims to make a fight of it in Iowa, where she is pulling even with DeSantis in some of the latest polls. Last week, Haley landed the backing of Americans for Prosperity Action, the political wing of the influential and deep-pocketed fiscally conservative network founded by the billionaire Koch Brothers. AFP Action has pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars and mobilize its formidable grassroots operation to boost Haley and help push the Republican Party past Trump. “Trump’s already in the finals,” said longtime Republican consultant David Kochel, a veteran of numerous presidential and statewide campaigns in Iowa. And he highlighted that DeSantis and Haley are “trying to construct some plausible path to get a one-on-one shot with Trump that everybody agrees is essential to any notion that he can be derailed from getting the nomination.” Seasoned Iowa-based Republican strategist and communicator Jimmy Centers cautioned that “everyone needs to be clear-eyed that former President Trump will win the Iowa caucus on Jan. 15.” “The question is whether Gov. DeSantis or Amb. Haley come in a strong enough second place finish where they put a sizable gap between themselves and whomever comes in third to be able to say to Republicans in New Hampshire and beyond that this is a two-person race,” he spotlighted. Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.
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