Oct 13, 2021 - Politics
What Trump's endorsement means for Grassley
Former President Donald Trump smiles at Sen. Chuck Grassley during a Des Moines rally Oct. 09, 2021.
Former President Donald Trump (left) smiles at Sen. Chuck Grassley during a Des Moines rally Oct. 09, 2021. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump made headlines in Des Moines last weekend for endorsing Sen. Chuck Grassley.

  • Axios Des Moines asked Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford: Is it all show or does something actually come from it?

For Grassley, accepting the endorsement is a prudent move that ensures Trump supporters will go to the polls this midterm, rather than stay home, Goldford said.

Take to heart what Grassley said himself on Saturday at the rally:

  • "... I'm smart enough to accept that endorsement," and noted Trump's 91% favorability rate among Iowa Republicans.

Associating with the former president could disappoint moderate conservatives who like Grassley's conventional style and general side-stepping of today's culture wars.

  • But they'll still vote for him, Goldford said.

Meanwhile, endorsing Grassley is a win-win situation for Trump.

  • Grassley could likely win Iowa regardless of the endorsement, Goldford said, but now the former president can say he helped the senator — giving the appearance of power.

The bottom line: Iowa is more red than purple these days, but it's not staunchly Republican.

  • Being with Trump is being pragmatic, Goldford said.
  • "He knows how to make sure that the flood wall is up in case it rains really hard," he said.
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