Poll shows Lee Co. voters like Ron DeSantis, but still want Donald Trump as 2024 GOP nominee

DeSantis Trump
Victory Insights tested feelings on both men, as well as Rep. Byron Donalds.

A poll of Lee County Republican voters shows more want Donald Trump as the 2024 presidential nominee than want Ron DeSantis. But the Florida Governor still holds higher favorability ratings than the former President.

Victory Insights, a polling firm with a presence in Naples, polled likely Republican Primary voters in the conservative county from June 30 through July 1 on their feelings about Trump, DeSantis, and freshman Rep. Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican.

“Our primary objective was to get a high-level overview of politically in-tune Republicans in Lee County who have a high likelihood of voting in any future Primaries,” Victory Insights co-owner Matt Hurley told Florida Politics. “We modeled our sampling and weighting around Lee County voters who have voted in any Florida Republican Primary in ‘16, ‘18 or ‘20.”

Results show GOP voters in the region hold all three men in high regard. But DeSantis holds the highest favorability ratings by far. About 73% of respondents gave a “very positive” review of DeSantis, compared to 54% who said the same of Trump. Meanwhile, 13% had a “very negative” opinion of Trump, compared to 9% for DeSantis.

As far as Donalds, 46% said they had a “very positive” opinion and 10% a “very negative” opinion. About 15% were neutral on the Congressman, considerably higher than the 2% with no opinion on DeSantis and 6% with no feeling on Trump.

Donalds won a high-profile Republican Primary in Florida’s 19th Congressional District in 2020 and then won the seat in a landslide General Election victory over Democrat Cindy Banyai. He faces Jim Huff in a GOP Primary this year and the winner again faces Banyai in November.

The poll shows DeSantis both with an edge in net favorability and in favorability intensity.

Yet, when voters were asked who they would rather see as the GOP nominee for President in 2024, Trump held an edge.

About 36% of voters want Trump to be the nominee. By comparison, about 30% want DeSantis in that role.

“This could be due to a number of reasons, one being that Floridians are so enamored with DeSantis as Governor that they wouldn’t want him to leave that post,” reads a polling memo.

Of note, about 34% of voters polled remain neutral on the issue, showing neither individual holds a commanding lead with Florida voters.

The polling memo notes Lee County holds significance in Florida Republican politics. It’s Florida’s eighth-most populous county and the largest reliably Republican one. For example, the county is the most populous of Florida’s 67 counties that Trump carried in 2020, which helped him win the state by 3 percentage points despite losing the seven largest counties.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Tom

    July 5, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    This is not a surprise, if anything it demonstrates America’s Govs appeal overall.
    With 34% neutral it allows room for both to walk away with it. You could argue that past Potus should be 5 to 10 pts higher.

    It is natural to see an allegiance by staunch Repub. voters towards the ex Potus.

    The fact that Gov is able to stand within 6 pts speaks volumes.

    In fairness to Gov Ron, with all this speculation he has ever said he’s interested. Just saying.

  • PeterH

    July 5, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    Let’s keep in mind that this is a POLL INTERVIEWING REPUBLICANS.

    According to Gallop Polling on PARTY AFFILIATION:
    27% of America’s electorate is Republican.
    27% of America’s electorate is Democrat
    43% of America’s electorate is Independent

    Independent voters decide elections.

  • Tom

    July 6, 2022 at 7:50 am

    Texas 34 proved and it only is getting worse H.
    Hispanics have abandoned Dums. In Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Working class, blue collar, and middle class workers are fleeing Dums. Inflation and the crumbling of America’s economy by Biden/Harris is game changer. People are eating dog food thanks to them.

    Suburban married moms, are supporting DeSantis and Repub. the re- de- alignment towards GOP led by DeSantis is deep. Independents are aligned with DeSantis.
    Your stats from Gallup is yesteryear.

    America’s Gov is now the conservative movements voice, leader. He is liked more favorable, to less negative ratios. Only pol in America.

    Newsoms kindergarten attack to no avail, thanks to incompetence Biden, Psaki, Klain , and Harris have built DeSantis into a star. LMAO.

    We are looking at a epic midterm pick up. With likely recession, 50 house seats pick up. Super Repub legislature majorities. Enjoy!

  • Tom

    July 6, 2022 at 9:02 am

    Peter h since you quote Gallup ( historic liberal pollster) Biden miserable presidency is at the lowest sentiment ever recorded, 23%. The lowest ever.

    In Florida he’s down to 3o% approval, if not worse now. Annihilation coming.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn