DeSantis’s uphill battle 

DeSantis's uphill battle   at george magazine

It hasn’t been a smooth start for the Florida governor.

DeSantis’s announcement on Wednesday was riddled with glitches and technical errors, resulting in a delay and sparking mockery from his critics on both the right and the left.

DeSantis’s team has pointed out that thousands of Twitter users were trying to listen to the conversation, contributing to the technical difficulties. The campaign also said DeSantis raised $1 million in the first hour of his announcement. You can read The Hill’s Niall Stanage on the five big takeaways from the highly anticipated launch here.

Despite the technical difficulties, DeSantis and his campaign say they are full-steam ahead. On Thursday, the campaign announced its first early-state tour, titled “Our Great American Comeback Tour.”

It will start on Tuesday with a “campaign kickoff” in Iowa. The Florida governor will then traverse the Hawkeye State on Wednesday, stopping in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Pella, and Cedar Rapids. On Thursday, DeSantis will travel to New Hampshire, with plans to visit Laconia, Rochester, Salem and Manchester. The final leg of the tour will take place in South Carolina, where DeSantis is set to make stops in Beaufort, Lexington, and Greenville.

But it will be an uphill climb for the Florida governor, who continues to trail the former president in state- and national-level polling. An Emerson College poll of Iowa voters released on Thursday showed Trump with 62 percent support among Hawkeye State Republican voters, while DeSantis trailed at 20 percent support.

We’ll also start to get a better look at what DeSantis’s strategy is now that he’s officially a candidate. The Hill’s Max Greenwood reports that the governor and his allies are preparing to launch a major counteroffensive against Trump.

“It’s a one-two punch of wanting to be aggressive, well-organized and well-placed,” said one adviser to the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down. “We’re going to force the Trump campaign and his supporters to try to keep up.” But it’s not just Trump who DeSantis will have to hit back against. The Hill’s Brett Samuels reports on why the other Republican contenders are piling up on DeSantis, as opposed to the former president.

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