New poll finds Donald Trump leading Ron DeSantis in Florida

trump desantis
Victory Insights found the Florida Governor holding a lead in November. But that's gone now.

Gov. Ron DeSantis handily won re-election last cycle. But a new poll shows he may lose his home state in a GOP Primary for President against Donald Trump.

Victory Insights, a polling firm with a presence in Naples, found Trump beating DeSantis both within a wide field and in a head-to-head matchup.

Among likely GOP Primary voters, Trump comes out on top in a crowded field with almost 43% of the vote, while DeSantis lands at just under 35%.

Author and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy pulls in at a distant third with about 4%, while Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has support of just over 3%. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson shows with a little over 1%, while longshot businessman Perry Johnson barely polls above 0%.

That puts Trump’s lead outside the poll’s 3.1-percentage-point margin of error.

But in a head-to-head contest between Trump and DeSantis, the Florida Governor actually polls worse. In such a situation, Trump wins about 47% to DeSantis’ 32%.

This marks a significant change since the same polling firm tested the field with Florida voters in November. At that point, DeSantis led Trump 47% to 37%.

“Five months later, things have changed substantially,” reads a polling memo.

“Several other candidates have announced their candidacies, and Trump has been indicted and arrested in a highly politicized move by the Manhattan DA. DeSantis still hasn’t officially announced his candidacy, but his messaging, book tour, and PAC activity certainly point to a presidential run in the coming months. However, it’s beginning to look more like an uphill battle than previously believed.”

In addition to seeing a 26-percentage-point swing in support between Trump and DeSantis, there’s also an increased number of undecided voters in the pool now. Nearly 32% remain on the fence when polled on a head-to-head between the two Florida candidates, while just 16% sorted into the undecided column in November.

The indictment seems to show Republican voters rallying around the former President, with almost 88% believing the charges out of Manhattan to be politically motivated.

If there’s good news in the survey, it’s that DeSantis appears to be the only other contender even in a position to take on Trump.

Victory Insights also tested a field of only candidates who actually declared their candidacy, leaving out DeSantis. In that circumstance, no one but Trump polls in double digits.

Instead, Trump grows his support to nearly 66%. Haley bumps into second place but with under 8%. Hutchinson and Ramaswamy earn support of less than 2% of those polled while Johnson remains a non-factor.

“If any of these candidates hope to have an actual shot at winning Florida’s primary, things will need to drastically change,” the polling memo reads. “As the race currently stands, it’s Trump’s race to lose, while DeSantis is the undisputed second place choice.”

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].


  • Donald J Trump

    April 10, 2023 at 2:37 pm

    If Ron gets the nomination then I’ll just run third party and split the vote. This will ensure a victory for the Democrats but that’s what the GOP will get if they try to throw me under the bus for Ron DeSanctimonious. Either way, the election results will probably still be the same as in 2020. They will steal the election again.

  • Nostradamus

    April 10, 2023 at 3:01 pm

    I know many Floridians who do not want DeSantis to run and leave his job as Governor. I can understand why. They might end up with some fools like Gillum.

    • Kim

      April 11, 2023 at 12:19 am

      I know more republicans in Florida and they are done with trump. Trump trashed Florida and attacked a great governor. Trump won’t win Florida no matter how many fake polls you pull. Desantis was born here. We will stand by him because he is doing a great job.

  • DeDeDe Desantis

    April 10, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    Republican: The party of losers who enjoy losing.

  • Ron DeSantis wears High Heels

    April 10, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Because as stupid and terrible as Trump is, he’s not stupid and terrible enough to start a pi$$ing match with the biggest and most important employer in Florida, that also happens to be an international media empire.

    The Culture War Wokeness debacle that DeSantis stepped into with Disney is absolute proof of how big an absolute MORON the guy is.

    DeSantis isn’t qualified to run a lemonade stand in YeeHaw Junction.

    • tobin menard

      April 13, 2023 at 5:52 pm

      You do realize that since Disney thought they were bigger then the people they have lost almost half their stock value.

  • PeterH

    April 10, 2023 at 5:44 pm

    The Republican Civil War is good news for patriotic, common sense, educated Americans. Trump and DeSantis are two miserable losers! Let them have at it!

  • Christina

    April 11, 2023 at 11:25 am

    DeSantis is clearer, younger, and more effective than Trump.

  • Lovemylife

    April 11, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Republicans will lose the general with Trump though…

  • Marilyn

    April 11, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    I voted for you twice. After this ridiculous indictment in New York I was ready to support you in 2024. Now you say you will “run third party and split the vote”. I will not vote for you again if you put yourself above the country. Your MAGA ads against a fellow Republican aren’t helping you or the Republican party. You must know that! You are helping the socialist democrats win! Be the President that we need, not a petty, name calling bully!!

Comments are closed.


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