Florida Governor Ron DeSantis positions himself as a better version of former President Donald Trump. Still, he highlights critical differences to court one of the Republican Party's most important voting blocs. DeSantis has embraced a firm pro-life policy stance and highlighted his status as a solid family man, which contrasts sharply with Trump. Speaking at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Orlando, DeSantis said, "One of the things I'm most proud of is that the state of Florida stands unequivocally in defense of the family and in defense of our children." He also highlighted Florida legislation that increases support for a pregnancy support services program, along with efforts to give parents greater access to and influence in local schools. DeSantis's embrace of a six-week abortion ban contrasts sharply with Trump, who forged an uneasy alliance with evangelicals en route to winning the White House in 2016 but has since kept his distance by embracing a hands-off "states right" stance. Drake University political professor Dennis Goldford argues that Trump left a big opening to his right when he indicated he would not support a six-week abortion ban, which DeSantis entered by signing one law in Florida. That will give him a chance with evangelical voters, who make up roughly half of Iowa Republicans when they vote next January. DeSantis has made stops in Iowa, hanging out with Governor Kim Reynolds and Representative Randy Feenstra. But Goldford, who has witnessed every Iowa caucus since 1988, says that facing voters one-on-one still matters a lot in the Hawkeye State and that doing so is not a strength for DeSantis. "One of the good things about the caucuses is they make candidates treat voters as real human beings and not just campaign props for photos," he said. "You have to be able to look somebody in the eye and win them over with your charm, and by all accounts, DeSantis struggles with that." [tweet_embed]May 26, 2023[/tweet_embed] DeSantis may use his background and personal life to his advantage along with the policy. Unlike Trump, DeSantis is a military veteran, serving in the U.S. Navy as a legal adviser to SEAL Team One before being deployed to Iraq. And DeSantis remains married to his first wife, Casey DeSantis, in contrast to the thrice-divorced Trump. Those factors can somewhat aid the Florida governor, argues Cedarville University political professor Marc Clauson, so long as he's careful about bringing them up. "DeSantis can talk about his military service, but I think he has to wait for the occasion to come to him rather than being proactive about it," he said. And regarding his family, Clauson says DeSantis would best be seen and photographed with them rather than bringing the issue up directly. DeSantis has alluded to Trump's moral failures before, reacting to the Manhattan District attorney's charges against Trump by saying he doesn't know much about "paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair." That led to a harsh response from Trump, who hasn't stopped attacking DeSantis since and has been widening his poll lead. Other candidates, including former Governor Nikki Haley and President Joe Biden, have also attacked DeSantis. DeSantis has mostly shied away from punching back directly, but that could change now that he's officially in the race. [tweet_embed]May 26, 2023[/tweet_embed] A Catholic himself, DeSantis alluded to the battle ahead by quoting from the New Testament's Book of Ephesians during his Monday speech. "Get ready. Put on the full armor of God," he said. "Stand up for your faith, and don't ever, ever back down."