Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) campaign criticized media outlets for projecting Donald Trump as the winner about half an hour after the Iowa caucuses officially began on Monday.
“Absolutely outrageous that the media would participate in election interference by calling the race before tens of thousands of Iowans even had a chance to vote. The media is in the tank for Trump and this is the most egregious example yet,” DeSantis campaign spokesperson Andrew Romeo said on X/Twitter.
Iowa was crucial to DeSantis’ campaign. He invested a lot in the state because a good showing would breathe new life into his struggling campaign.
However, DeSantis is now locked in a close battle for second with former U.N Ambassador Nikki Haley.
The early call for Trump came as a surprise to the DeSantis campaign.
A spokesperson for the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down told the Hill that Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis was speaking at a caucus precinct when caucus goers received notification that Trump had won.
“The voting hadn’t started yet, all while below them was a CNN chyron calling the race for Trump,” Ken Cuccinelli, a founder of Never Back Down PAC said. “People are obviously getting these in caucuses where the voting hadn’t begun, or certainly wasn’t closed.”
“The supposed guidance of not calling a race before the polls closed got reversed tonight,” Cuccinelli added.