Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds plans to endorse Ron DeSantis for president on Monday, according to two people with knowledge of her plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity to address the matter ahead of the announcement.

The expected endorsement comes amid widespread speculation that Reynolds would back DeSantis, after the two of them have appeared together at events around the state.

Still, it is highly unusual for an Iowa governor to endorse a candidate in a contested Republican presidential primary. The move could give a much-needed boost to DeSantis, as the Florida governor has been well behind former president Donald Trump in polls.

DeSantis and his backers have invested heavily in Iowa, where his campaign is moving one-third of his staff. A NBC/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll released last week had the Florida governor tied for second at 16 percent with former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley.

DeSantis and Haley, however, are polling far behind Trump, who has maintained a commanding lead among Republicans running for president in 2024 in the first-in-the nation Iowa caucuses. In the Register poll, 43 percent of likely caucus-goers picked Trump as their first-choice GOP presidential candidate.

While DeSantis has long held the No. 2 spot in polls, Haley has started to chip away at his numbers, with the latest Iowa poll showing that her standing there is rising — and DeSantis’s is declining.

But Trump’s lead over the field is now 27 points, slightly larger than in August. The new poll also finds that his supporters are more enthusiastic and more settled on their choice than supporters of Haley or DeSantis.

NBC News had first reported Reynolds’s planned endorsement.

Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.



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