Exclusive: Here’s audio from the secret Ron DeSantis ‘24 debriefing to donors

DeSantis immigration
One structural advantage Ryan Tyson notes? The whole nomination fight could hinge on Florida.

Never mind crashing Twitter Spaces. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ top pollster told supporters plenty of fundamentals show he has a good path to the White House.

Pollster Ryan Tyson assured donors gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami that DeSantis starts the race in good shape. Audio obtained by Florida Politics shows the campaign excited by the national notoriety DeSantis already enjoys, and confidence his standing against former President Donald Trump will only improve with time.

“He’s known by as many Primary voters as the President is and he’s better liked,” Tyson said. “That’s the first problem that Donald Trump, I feel like, has in these Primaries. His negatives are too high. And I will also say this. The No. 1 most effective and efficient driver of Donald Trump’s negatives is Donald Trump.”

While outside polling has shown Trump with an increasing lead on DeSantis in numerous early states, Tyson in his comments to donors focused on image polling for both leading GOP candidates. In Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, DeSantis has higher favorability ratings among likely Primary and caucus participants.

“The more that the Governor gets known to the few who don’t know who he is, we’re finding that the only voters who he is losing are left-of-center voters,” Tyson said. “If those are voters in a Republican Primary, I’m more than happy to jettison them.”

Tyson’s polling shows voters believe DeSantis to be more conservative than Trump, an important metric with Primary voters. The percentage of voters classifying DeSantis as “very conservative” sits between 43% and 50% in the early states.

Perhaps more surprising, voters give DeSantis very high scores regarding his readiness to serve as President. About 62% of Iowa voters polled feel he’s ready now.

Net ratings on readiness for DeSantis exceed those for Trump, despite Trump having already served a term as President.

Tyson does identify structural challenges for DeSantis. About 35% of voters polled said they will only consider voting for Trump. Additionally, the so-called “Never Trumpers” generally fall left of center among Republican voters and consider DeSantis too much like Trump to support.

But even before DeSantis launched his presidential campaign, Tyson found a comparable number of voters, 25%, who were ready to commit to the Governor.

Tyson suggests any other candidates in the field besides Trump and DeSantis have failed to find any traction, and that won’t change.

“I would offer to you after my field research that voters fundamentally do not buy what those candidates are selling today,” he said. “They just don’t. You can see that in their messaging that they just don’t talk to actual Republican Primary voters in the country today.”

There’s another pot of voters who just want a candidate who can beat President Joe Biden, and Tyson said those voters will likely gravitate to DeSantis in the end. “They’re just waiting for him to get out there and give them a reason to vote for him,” Tyson said.

Beyond the White House, Tyson also suggested DeSantis could create coattails in a way Trump has never done.

“It’s not just about him,” Tyson said. “It’s about bringing folks along with the party and building back the party so we can win those state legislative seats, we can win those congressional seats, we can take back the Senate.”

He documented support already demonstrated in DeSantis’ trips to early states. But Tyson also said the campaign sees an ability to chase delegates even in a protracted Primary. He said an organization is already in place in states like California where a good number of delegates will be in play, even if the state leans Democratic in the General.

But Tyson also suggested the contest, if it isn’t settled early, will come down to a state where DeSantis knows he can perform: Florida.

“We’re probably going to know who the nominee is after the state of Florida votes on March 19,” Tyson said. “Florida is a winner-takes-all state.”

Just last year, DeSantis won a landslide re-election, and his organization largely remains in place.

Questions arose about the difficult launch, done on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk but only after technical difficulties delayed the start of an interview by a half hour. But campaign officials stressed that was only the first media spot DeSantis did the day he launched. He followed that up with spots on Fox News, radio host Mark Levin and other venues with major audiences.

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].


  • Elliott Offen

    May 26, 2023 at 9:10 pm

    No self respecting “left of center” voter would vote for any Republican. Not really a “left of center” in Florida anyway, so I don’t know what he’s talking about. Everyone in the south is right wing in some way shape or form. People don’t know what left really means here anymore. You gotta look at European politics and compare. Who is like that in USA? Nobody.. only Sanders and like 5 other people.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 27, 2023 at 11:34 am

      The entire USA reminds me of Florida. There’s the coasts and then there’s flyover country. There might be some left leaning folks in the pricier area of Sarasota. You know the areas, the ones close enough to water that you can make a run for it whenever that day finally comes and Ron’s state polices show up to police your thoughts.

      • Suze

        May 30, 2023 at 7:42 am

        Don’t say Gay. Don’t say Trump Don’t say DeathSantis that has killed democracy in Florida. He is even more evil than trump. Who could have imagined? I moved out of his Nazi state and no way want Americans subjected to his hateful policies. Let him go back to gutanamo

        • You are right

          May 31, 2023 at 3:58 pm


  • Earl Pitts American

    May 26, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    Good evening dook 4 brains lefties,
    I, Earl Pitts American, forbid all dook 4 brains lefties from reading this article as it may contain some propritary information exclusive to my, Earl Pitts American’s, single handed plan to defeat the dook 4 brains leftists in 2024.
    Everybody I, Earl Pitts American hereby order you to do as I say and not as I do. I, Earl Pitts American have spoken.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

  • Tara Thompson

    May 26, 2023 at 11:15 pm

    lol @ “Pollster Ryan Tyson assured donors gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami that DeSantis starts the race in good shape.” DeSantis is 30 points behind Trump in the polls, DeSantis’ campaign launch was a disaster, and many conservatives (especially Trump supporters) are angry that DeSantis begged for Trump’s help to win his first term as Florida Governor and then turned on Trump. Nobody likes an ingrate. Well good luck to the DeSantis campaign team trying to turn this lemon into lemonade.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 27, 2023 at 9:24 am

      Was it really the Four Seasons hotel? Not the Four Season Lawn Service? Maybe DeSanits really is an improvement over Trump! lolololol

  • Michael K

    May 27, 2023 at 12:30 am

    It’s really hard to polish a turd.

    • Bless Her Heart

      May 27, 2023 at 3:27 pm

      …but Casey keeps trying

  • Enslave Whites For 300 Years

    May 27, 2023 at 7:34 am

    It’s fun to watch the Final Days Of The White Race as the rats all scamper for exits.

    Now below 70% of the US, a Census all-time low, do they repent and accept their new caste? No, still they rail against women, Asians, Disney, books, and they even shoot up their own churches.

    Buh-byeee Felicia 🌈

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 27, 2023 at 9:18 am

    This story says “voters give DeSantis very high scores regarding his readiness to serve as President.”
    Why? Ron has zero experience beyond preaching to the choir.
    Dealing with Florida’s GOP super majority would count as experience if Ron were a Democrat or even somewhere around the center (of USA politics, meaning center right in the world context), but they’re not.

  • Guns or Butter & Bread Bullsheet

    May 27, 2023 at 9:42 am

    Ron DeSantis acted very strongly as vFlorida’s Governor to keep Florida’s children safe from drag queen shows. And poems. And books.
    Yet Ron has not taken any action to keep so much as one bullet out of one child’s body.
    End of story.

    • Denise Hardwick Sellars

      May 31, 2023 at 8:42 pm


  • Ocean Joe

    May 27, 2023 at 11:14 am

    Unless Trump goes to prison, Desantis can stay home.
    When it comes to the general election voters will pick Weekend at Biden’s over the Fourth Reich.

  • Matt Gaetz

    May 27, 2023 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for inviting me on your donor call, Ron. Also, thanks for falling for it again. Thanks for falling for it Every. Single. Time.

    • J B

      May 31, 2023 at 6:44 pm

      Resign you turd.

    • J B

      May 31, 2023 at 6:44 pm

      Resign you turd.

  • New Campaign Manager

    May 28, 2023 at 9:02 am

    Whoever released the recording of this call, they’re probably who Ron should have had handle his campaign launch. Oh wait, he did. It was Casey. Both people were Casey.

  • Suze

    May 30, 2023 at 7:44 am

    No way Ron. Take your fascism to Guantanamo

  • boeboe

    May 31, 2023 at 7:54 am

    Ron is a bigot on another level. Bible in one hand and AR15 in the other. Will protect kids from books, but not guns, and Evangelical leaders think that aligns with the bible….duh…..

  • Laura

    May 31, 2023 at 9:54 am

    I won’t register to vote
    I moved to Florida a year ago
    My husband 2 years ago not liking what the governor of Florida has done my brothers my father grandfather fought for freedom the history of blacks needs to stay in schools it’s history
    We have also helped many country’s for many many years I was born and raised in upstate NY America is the land of the free with opportunity Ron DeSantis must think he is God I myself don’t care what color race or what the person is these politicians have gone to far the gay people fought for there rights it took years for them to come out how many was beaten or murderd and here we go again fighting with Disney the jobs lost the money lost people moving out of Florida if it wasn’t for my husband I would move back upstate our freedom is on the line I’m sick of this all

    • Emanon

      May 31, 2023 at 4:31 pm


      With all due respect, not registering to vote and not voting is what gives us leadership like this. If you take the position that your singular voice won’t count, then yours and others that take this position will not. This is what people like RD, DJT, and others are counting on. Foe people to check out of the process and then everything goes to SHIT like it is right now.

      Consolidating all the silent voices will allow us to shout loudest and rid ourselves of demagogues like these.

  • T Curtan

    May 31, 2023 at 11:11 am

    Everybody, for the most part, has been spot on. DePutin is a slimeball. It’s so obvious yet no one has mentioned it; he does nothing positive. He is constantly tearing something or someone down. He never builds up. We have insurance problems here in Florida which he helped escalate, we have environmental problems that need solving, there is a terrible teacher shortage, there is terrible teacher pay (ranked in the 40’s), he doesnt like the LGBTQ+ community, doesnt want the black population to vote, and doesnt allow opposing views here in the United States of America. How more UnAmerican can one get ?!?!?!?!

  • Betty

    May 31, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    Ron is a fascist/trump is a fascist

    • Fascist Christianity

      May 31, 2023 at 7:30 pm

      Just Christian, no need to say fascist.

  • Christian Underclass Caste

    May 31, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    The Collapse Of Christianity, Final Chapter

    Having repulsed every voter with misogyny, homophobia, antisemitism and fentanyl, no Christian can get elected ever again.

  • Sick OfCowards

    June 1, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    So don’t vote. When Trump ran, A NO vote was another yes vote for Trump. Use you vote to help clean out the grunge in politics. We’re all sick of this fascist state but the vote is the only way to make any change. The GOP has been proudly undoing the 20th Century one civil right at a time. We need to restore America one vote at a time. What I’m sick of are GOP politicians quitting because of the mess the GOP has created rather than stay to vote against these wicked policies. But the cowards run rather than fight back. So run away and don’t help with your vote.

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, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, 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