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Ron DeSantis trolled with participation trophy ahead of Iowa caucuses: ‘Proud of you for trying’

Ron DeSantis handed participation trophy by troll in Iowa (Getty Images)
Ron DeSantis handed participation trophy by troll in Iowa (Getty Images)

Ron DeSantis was trolled in Iowa after being presented with a “participation trophy” ahead of the state caucuses on Monday.

The incident occurred on Saturday after the Florida governor staged a town hall in Atlantic, Iowa. An unidentified man approached Mr DeSantis, holding a small award.

“Governor DeSantis I want to present to you this participation trophy,” he said, prompting laughter from those gathered.

“You’re probably not going to win the election but we’re proud of you for trying,” the man added, before declaring: “He’s special, he’s unique, and he’s our little snowflake.”

Mr DeSantis did not take the gift and tried to laugh off the prank, telling the man: “I don’t do participation trophies, sorry buddy.”

The man was swiftly removed by Mr DeSantis’ security team.

Ron DeSantis in Iowa (AP)
Ron DeSantis in Iowa (AP)

While Donald Trump holds a substantial polling lead, Mr DeSantis and former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley are fighting hard for second place in the national polls.

According to polling site FiveThirtyEight, Mr Trump still leads the field strongly in Iowa too, with 51.3 per cent of the vote as of Saturday.

Ms Haley edges Mr DeSantis, sitting at 17.3 per cent, in contrast to Mr Desantis’ 16.1 per cent.

This is despite huge efforts made by the Florida governor’s campaign team in Iowa.

Ahead of the caucus Mr DeSantis completed the “Full Grassley,” named for Iowa’s long-serving Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, where he visited all 99 counties.

He also received the endorsement of Kim Reynolds, the state’s governor, and Bob Vander Plaats, the head of the Iowa Family Leader and a kingmaker in the state.