DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst will introduce GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson at two campaign events, just days before the state’s presidential caucus, NBC News has learned.
While the separate appearances are not expected to be endorsements, the Carson campaign hopes the events will give the retired neurosurgeon both legitimacy and momentum as he tries to close the deal with the state’s voters.
Ernst, the popular freshman senator, will join Dr. Carson Friday evening in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Ernst, who has promised not to endorse in her state’s presidential contest, appeared on the campaign trail with Marco Rubio Monday.
Friday afternoon, Carson will appear with the state’s veteran senator, Chuck Grassley. Grassley, who most recently introduced Donald Trump in Pella, Iowa, is also scheduled to attend stops with Sens. Ted Cruz. and Marco Rubio this weekend.
These appearances come as Carson has been struggling to regain traction after falling from first place in the fall, amid questions of his personal biography and foreign policy acumen. While his message still resonates with many evangelical voters in the state, Carson now sits in fourth place in Iowa’s latest polling averages by Real Clear Politics.