Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gained 50 new endorsements from pastors and faith leaders across Iowa, bringing him to over 150 total endorsements from faith leaders in the final days before the Iowa caucuses.
DeSantis’ campaign confirmed to Fox News Digital that the 50 new endorsers plan to caucus for him on Monday.
Pastors pointed to DeSantis’ “unwavering faith” and his track record of defending religious liberty in Florida.
“Other candidates talk, but Ron DeSantis is a true man of unwavering faith and defender of religious liberty who we can trust to unite our nation and revive America,” Pastor Jeff Moes of Sunnybrook Community Church said. “I will be honored to support him on caucus night and encourage my fellow Iowans to do the same.”
Others pointed to his “Christian worldview” for why they are backing the Florida governor.
“I believe that Ron DeSantis is a political candidate whose core convictions are based upon principles of faith and a Christian worldview,” Pastor AJ Potter of Pleasantville Baptist Church said. “He has earned my respect and my full support for the upcoming caucus this Monday.”
The 50 additional endorsements to DeSantis come after his campaign turned its attention to appealing to evangelical voters.
In September, DeSantis launched his Faith and Family Coalition, which focused on his promise to “defend religious freedom, allow people of faith to flourish and advance the culture of life.”
In November, influential evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats endorsed DeSantis and has been campaigning regularly for him.
Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The Family Leader organization, has long played a vital role in a state where evangelical voters play an outsized role in Republican politics.
Vander Plaats backed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2008, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in 2012, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in 2016 – all three of whom went on to win the Iowa caucuses, but failed to capture the GOP presidential nomination.
A new poll, released Thursday, suggested that former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley had moved past DeSantis for a distant second place behind former President Trump.
According to a Suffolk University survey of 500 Iowa voters likely to participate in Monday’s GOP presidential caucuses, Trump stands at 54% support, with Haley at 20% and DeSantis at 13%.
The poll was conducted from Jan. 6-10, when Haley and DeSantis faced off in a primetime debate in Iowa, while Trump simultaneously took part in a Fox News town hall.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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