Vivek Ramaswamy is not a man who wants for confidence.
A long-shot candidate who remains at best in the mid-single digits in Republican primary polling, Mr. Ramaswamy said the odds he would become president were “over 50 percent.”
Mr. Ramaswamy, a wealthy biotech mogul, made this prediction while riding in a Ferris wheel high above the Iowa State Fair with two reporters and a photographer. Former President Donald J. Trump was in view below, waving goodbye to a throng of supporters who had packed a beer hall to hear him speak for less than 10 minutes.
“My crowd — was actually — might have been a little bigger,” said Mr. Ramaswamy, referring to when he spoke at the same spot the night before. “Usually he’ll pull multiples of what I brought, but hey, not bad this time.”
He doesn’t try to be like a traditional politician. Earlier in the day, at the end of his chat with Gov. Kim Reynolds, Mr. Ramaswamy took the mic and the opportunity to rap along to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”
The 38-year-old businessman presents himself as a true Trump acolyte — after all, bragging about crowd size is a trademark of the former president’s. The only gentle contrast he offered with Mr. Trump during the Ferris wheel interview was that he had “fresh legs.”
“I’m very pro-Trump,” he said. “Not as a candidate, but just as a citizen.”
Mr. Ramaswamy even dismissed the standard criticism of Trump for Republicans who want to avoid saying anything mean about him: that Mr. Trump can’t win the general election. Mr. Trump would win, he argues, but it would be a close race.
“I’m the only candidate who can win in a landslide,” he said.