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Trump, Ron DeSantis and other presidential candidates descend on Iowa rivalry game

College football fans in Iowa were faced with a different sort of game when candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination descended upon tailgate events on Saturday. 

Former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy — the top three Republican candidates running for president — all showed face in Ames, Iowa ahead of the annual University of Iowa and Iowa State University Cy-Hawk rivalry game. 

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and South Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum both showed faces outside of the game, too. However, neither one of the presidential hopefuls has cracked 1% in support in national polls.  

Mr. Trump, fresh off a campaign rally in South Dakota where he was endorsed by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and found time to throw shade at Mr. DeSantis, had a ball with his visit, literally. 

The former president showed up at the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house, an agriculture fraternity at Iowa State, on Saturday afternoon. Mr. Trump triumphantly hoisted a burger with fraternity brothers manning a large grill and proceeded to a table lined with footballs and red cups, signing one before tossing the rest into a crowd. 

“This is some turnout,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the frat house. “I guess the youth likes Trump, but we love Iowa. We just left South Dakota last night; it was an amazing evening. We got a wonderful endorsement from the governor and we’re here, and the reception has been incredible.” 

Mr. DeSantis arrived to chants of “We want Ron,” outside of Jack Trice Stadium around the same time. Mr. DeSantis was accompanied by Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has not endorsed the presidential hopeful. 

Mr. Ramaswamy was seen at a tailgate taking a shot of water with supporters. 

Despite not appearing in Iowa as often as his peers during this election cycle, Mr. Trump has maintained a commanding lead over the crowded field of candidates gunning for the GOP nomination. 

National polls show Mr. Trump with a 37-point advantage over Mr. DeSantis, who has held firm in second place with 13%. Mr. Ramasway rounds out the top three with just over 7%. 

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