Karl Rove downplays Ron DeSantis 2024 poll plunge
Karl Rove. Image via AP.

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'We're in a tribal moment in American politics.'

Amid a spate of polls showing Donald Trump increasing his lead over Ron DeSantis in 2024, one commentator is taking a contrarian view.

Karl Rove says surveys taken after the former President’s indictment reflect a “tribal moment” for Republicans, who are backing the leader of the GOP, rather than something more sustainable. He offered the remarks on the Fox News Channel.

When interviewer Martha MacCallum noted DeSantis had tried to make an issue of Trump’s “behavior and character issues,” saying it “doesn’t seem to have gotten him anywhere,” Rove offered a counter-message in DeSantis’ defense.

“Well, I think it’s less him slipping in the polls than we’re in a tribal moment in American politics. And if you attack the leader of our tribe, we’re going to rally around him,” Rove said, calling Trump the “ostensible leader of the Republican Party.”

“If he’s under attack, Republicans are going to rally around him, but I wouldn’t be so sanguine if I were him,” Rove continued. “I would be a little bit nervous if you have one out of every six Republicans saying that he should have been charged and you have another 20% who say they don’t know whether he should have been or not.”

“I would suspect that there are a lot of people among that 20% who say they don’t know who really do know or think that he should have been charged, but don’t want to say so to an anonymous pollster,” Rover continued.

“That’s not good if you’re facing a 2024 election in which you face the possibility of one out of every six Republicans saying, ‘Yeah, I think that they should have charged him on the hush money payments’ and just over a majority say that they shouldn’t have.”

As is the case with many controversial issues, DeSantis’ responses have run the gamut, from sniping about “porn star hush money” last month to more recent defenses, such as, “Even if it’s true, it’s only a misdemeanor.” No response DeSantis has given seems to have stemmed the tide, however, as post-indictment polling has shown Trump with wide leads over DeSantis.

An InsiderAdvantage survey conducted March 31 to April 1 shows 57% of Republican likely voters are backing the former President, 33 points ahead of DeSantis. A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows 48% of Republicans preferring Trump, 19% backing DeSantis, and all other potential candidates polling in the single digits.

In a post-indictment poll by The Trafalgar Group, 56% of respondents say they back Trump, while 23% prefer DeSantis. A Yahoo/YouGov survey finds Trump commanding 52% support, a 31-point lead over DeSantis.

Trump’s campaign released a memo Sunday celebrating the uptick in the former President’s numbers, claiming “an avalanche of recent polling shows President Trump surging to his largest-ever lead over Ron DeSantis.”

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


  • Villages Blue Hair Bill McPill Mill

    April 4, 2023 at 11:04 am

    The GOP swirling the toilet while they scramble to get their cronies rich off every grift and hustle imaginable. Meanwhile, Orange Berlusconi paying for his past schemes. Hopefully the rest of these clowns will pay in other ways.

  • Ron DeSantis wears High Heels

    April 4, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    The rest of the country saw who DeSantis really is when the Disney thing exploded in his face.

  • TROY S.

    April 4, 2023 at 8:38 pm

    Much of what’s happening right now will have very little impact and be old news by the time of the first presidential primary debate in August. People will be looking forward, and not backwards.

  • Lex

    April 5, 2023 at 9:27 am

    1. Why does anyone listen to Karl Rove? He was never some mastermind positioning the party for greatness. By the end of GW Bush’s term, GW was at a true low in polls, for no justified reason other than Rove’s mismanagement of what was then a unified Republican PR machine.
    2. I do agree that Trump has been truly wronged here. All Republicans need to push back against this desecration of our legal system and insertion of the legal system into politics. The outcome of the meritless case is not the point; the point is that the retraction always gets less press than the accusation and people will always believe where there is smoke there is fire. Though in Trump’s case there is no fire someone would have found something by now and Trump would already have been burned.
    3. We can’t let the Democrats and their media disrupt the Conservative primary. We need to pick our candidate and both Desantis and Trump are worthy. For that matter so is Nikki Haley.
    4. I’d like to see all the candidate rally behind stomping out this legal farce(s) against Trump because I fear the Democrats will try to get Republicans to take the bait against each other and give these lies oxygen.

Comments are closed.


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