13 GOP Presidential Candidates to Speak at Iowa Lincoln Dinner Fundraiser

Most of the declared major candidates of the 2024 Republican presidential primary will speak at a Republican fundraising event in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 28.

Starting at 6:00 pm, nearly every major candidate will have 10 minutes to address a crowd of 1,200 people at the Lincoln Dinner, the largest gathering yet held in the politically crucial Hawkeye State. To ensure compliance with the strict 10-minute rule, microphones will be deactivated after 10 minutes.

Former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will lead off the delegation of Republican speakers. She’ll be followed by former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Texas pastor and businessman Ryan Binkley, California talk show host Larry Elder, and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Former President Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner according to most current polling, will speak last.

Only former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is instead focusing his efforts on New Hampshire voters, will be absent from the lineup.

Iowa, which holds the first primary election in the nation, is considered a key state for the candidates, who are hoping that they can surpass Mr. Trump’s maintained strong lead in polling. Many strategists think that defeating Mr. Trump will largely depend on performance in the state, which provides a bellwether of voters’ attitudes in other parts of the country.

However, the race is not authoritative—in 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) carried Iowa but was ultimately defeated by Mr. Trump. In 2020, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defeated then-candidate Joe Biden in Iowa but was ultimately forced to concede the nomination to Mr. Biden.

Still, a surprising turnout in Iowa, even for high pollers who fall below the coveted first-place position, can help expand a campaign’s momentum in the next two states, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

The True Start of 2024 Campaign Season

In comments to The Gazette, a newspaper based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, state Republican Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said the event would mark the true start of the 2024 campaign season.

“With over 1,200 guests and 13 presidential candidates in attendance, this year’s Lincoln Dinner is going to be historic by marking the official kickoff for the 2024 caucus cycle to begin in earnest,” Mr. Kaufman said.

Tickets to attend the event, which range in price from $150 to more than $1,000 per person, are sold out.

As other candidates seek to dethrone Mr. Trump from his top position, the competitors have spent more than $20 million in their efforts to rank high in the first primary battle of the season, according to calculations by AdImpact.

According to the same source, Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Scott have led the pack in Iowa spending.

Many believe Mr. DeSantis’ path to the White House will rely on an early victory in Iowa. To that end, Never Back Down, a PAC associated with Mr. DeSantis, has reportedly spent more than $4.5 million in Iowa.

The largest spender overall is Mr. Scott, who has spent $3.6 million in addition to another $3.2 million through his allied Trust in the Mission PAC.

By contrast, a PAC allied with Mr. Trump has spent relatively little in the state, coming in at around $2.2 million.

Despite relatively high spending by his opponents, Mr. Trump remains far in the lead, according to a RealClearPolitics compilation of national polls.

Mr. Trump is averaging around 52.4 percent, while Mr. DeSantis is polling at 18.4 percent, Mr. Ramaswamy at 5.4 percent, Mr. Pence at 5.2 percent, Ms. Haley at 3.7 percent, Mr. Scott at 3.0 percent, and Mr. Christie at 2.7 percent. Other candidates are below 1 percent.

Polls in Iowa show similar trends, with Mr. Trump enjoying a wide lead, followed by Mr. DeSantis. In several polls, Mr. Scott has ranked third in Iowa.

From The Epoch Times

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