A Ron DeSantis’ campaign has little to smile about these days, and with less than a year to go before the Republican convention, the Florida governor is getting further and further away from winning the White House nomination. A new poll puts the candidate almost 40 percentage points behind his main rival, Donald Trump, in his own home state.
The University of North Florida (UNF) survey shows that DeSantis fell to 21% of voting intentions in the Republican Party primaries, far from Donald Trump, who reaches 60%.
The data comes one day before the next debate, which will also feature Nikki Haley. The former United States ambassador to the UN, appointed by Trump, is in third place with 6% of voting intentions in Florida.
The UNF also states that, in a direct head-to-head, Trump would defeat DeSantis with an advantage of 59-29, with 12% not voting for either candidate.
“Despite a historically high approval rating in the polls, Governor DeSantis losing gas in his home state does not bring good fortune to his national campaign,” said Michael Binder, professor of political science at UNF, cited by The Guardian.
Donald Trump’s campaign has already reacted to the poll, considering that the results demonstrate that DeSantis is “a wounded bird falling from the sky”. Nikki Haley also made a point of highlighting that her own campaign has become increasingly close to becoming an alternative to Trump in some states.
The fall of Ron DeSantis in Florida follows his frustrations at the national level. The governor of Florida became one of the biggest hopes of conservative voters to retake the White House, lost by Donald Trump in 2020. DeSantis easily won a second term as governor in 2022 and managed to turn Florida, once a constantly contested state, into a republican stronghold.
CBS NEWS POLL: More voters are now considering Nikki Haley, but Ron DeSantis is still seen as clear second choice to former President Trump in the Republican presidential primary race.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 6, 2023
His ultraconservative policies, including the restriction of civil rights to queer people and the removal of books and limits on school learning on racial issues, are examples of a more authoritarian stance with which DeSantis began to govern the state of Florida, but the Battles with the press and the promotion of cultural discussions did not have much impact on the national campaign.
On the contrary, Donald Trump has seen his popularity grow consistently throughout the campaign announced almost a year ago. Despite the many legal proceedings, particularly surrounding his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 elections, Trump has led all the polls and is, once again, the favorite to run for president of the United States against Joe Biden.
Also in the running for the Republican Party’s nomination is neoliberal multimillionaire businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. There are also names like Tim Scott, Chris Christie, Asa Hutchinson, Ryan Binkley and Doug Burgum. Larry Elder, Perry Johnson, Francis Suarez and Will Hurd were candidates, but have already abandoned the race, as has Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, who withdrew last week after a disappointing campaign.
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