Poll: Ron DeSantis has trouble against Donald Trump in crowded field
Ron DeSantis needs a two-man field against Trump.

ron desantis
DeSantis needs a clear field to take on the former President. Will he get it?

New polling suggests Gov. Ron DeSantis may face a problem if he runs for the United States presidency in 2024, specifically if the GOP field is crowded as widely expected.

A Harvard-Harris survey in the field on Dec. 14 and 15 showed DeSantis topping former President Donald Trump if a head-to-head national Presidential Primary between the two were hypothetically possible.

Per the poll analysis, a two-way battle between DeSantis and Trump is an “open fight,” with Trump controlling the “hard GOP base.” But when factoring in GOP-leaning independent registered voters, DeSantis tops Trump in the national scenario, with 52% support against 48% for the former President.

That’s the best scenario for Trump in the poll. When independents are out of the sample, GOP registrants remain loyal to Trump. The former President’s 55% is suitable for a double-digit lead against DeSantis.

The less-than-rousing news from this poll continues when a larger hypothetical field of candidates is tested. Trump secures a full 48% in this scenario, 25 points ahead of DeSantis’ distant second. Voters who are unsure or want someone else total 11%, ahead of the third-place finisher: former Vice President Mike Pence, who garnered 6% support.

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley had 4% backing, while U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had 2% each. At 1% were Tim Scott and Marco Rubio.

DeSantis’ path seems to mostly depend on whether Trump runs. Without the former President in the field, the Governor gets 48% support. Second-place finisher Pence was the only other candidate in double-digits in this scenario, with 15% support. Haley had 5%, Pompeo and Rubio 3%, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott had 2% support. The other 19% wanted someone else or were otherwise unsure.

If DeSantis does secure the nomination, the poll has good news for him: he’s up in head-to-head hypothetical General Elections against both President Joe Biden (43% to 39%) and Vice President Kamala Harris (45% to 40%).

But to get to November, the Governor must get the delegates at the 2024 Republican National Convention, and this poll outlines a potential complication ahead.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Russell S.

    December 19, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    The numbers don’t lie.

    DeSantis and Trump — they both BLEW it big time when it came to Covid. They both downplayed Covid. They both rebelled against taking serious action.

    The results? The USA “leads” the world in covid deaths per person, and Florida is near the top of US states for covid deaths per person.

    Ron DeSantis would be almost as bad a POTUS as Donald Trump was. More clever than Trump, yet just as focused on money and not on people’s lives.

    • Dr. Franklin Waters

      December 19, 2022 at 3:44 pm

      Ron DeSantis is a murderer.

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  • Elliott Offen

    December 19, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    They’ll both lose in a race for the presidency. The regional Hitlers are a fad. Rest of the country, the sane parts, aren’t gonna let the fascists win anymore.

Comments are closed.


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