Vivek Ramaswamy, the biotech entrepreneur, self-styled conservative firebrand, and long-shot Republican presidential candidate, believes he and Tesla CEO Elon Musk see eye-to-eye on many important issues, such as free speech.
And this weekend, ahead of Iowa’s presidential caucuses on Monday evening, Musk’s posts on X suggested not only his support for Ramaswamy, but a belief that he’ll do far better in the state than polls suggest.
“My guess is that Vivek will far exceed the polls when the votes are counted,” Musk posted, in response to a shared Fox News video on Ramaswamy’s low poll numbers versus the support that Iowa Rep. Steven Holt (R-Iowa) said he was seeing.
Musk also wrote on Sunday “I think you’re right” in response to an X user who posted: “I truly believe this Monday @VivekGRamaswamy is going to shock the world. This is going to be a major win for the country.”
Musk also responded “Yes” when another user asked “Do you trust Vivek Ramaswamy?”
But expectations for Ramaswamy are low. In a recent Suffolk University poll, 54% of 500 likely Republican caucus goers selected former president Donald Trump as their preferred candidate, versus 20% for former South Carolina governor Haley, 13% for Floria governor DeSantis, and just 6% for Ramaswamy.
Holt, however, said “I don’t believe the polls,” adding that many of his constituents have told him that Ramaswamy is often not presented as an option on the surveys. “Iowa has delivered surprises before. We’ll see what happens,” he told Fox.
Ramaswamy has repeatedly defended Trump throughout his presidential run, and has said that he’ll pardon him if elected. His plan seems to rest on Trump becoming ineligible to run due to his various legal difficulties, at which point Ramaswamy hopes to inherit his base.
Ramaswamy posted a photo of himself to X on Saturday with six fans wearing a shirt from his campaign reading “Save Trump, Vote Vivek.” Those shirts seemed to have irked the Trump side.
Trump’s senior campaign adviser, Chris LaCivita, responded to the post by calling Ramaswamy the campaign’s “number one fraud,” adding that “Trump doesn’t need ‘saving.’”
And Trump, who had refrained from attacking Ramaswamy, let loose in a Truth Social post, writing that “Vivek is not MAGA.”
Ramaswamy responded to Trump’s post by writing on X: “It’s an unfortunate move by his campaign advisors…I’m not going to criticize him in response to this late attack.”
Meanwhile, Musk, who in August backed Ramaswamy becoming vice president, noted that the GOP candidate appeared to have held more meetings with Iowans than his rivals.
“The power of an extreme work ethic,” he wrote, “is usually underestimated.”
Author: Steve Mollman