Poll: Ron DeSantis drops to second place in California

Ron DeSantis 5.17.23 AP PHOTO (2)
Donald Trump is up by 18 points now.

Republicans in the Golden State indicate they prefer Donald Trump to Ron DeSantis.

That’s the top takeaway from the latest Berkeley Institute of Government Studies poll of registered Republicans, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Trump leads DeSantis 44% to 26%, a huge shift in the results from this pollster, and a 26-point movement toward the former President at DeSantis’ expense in recent months.

In February, DeSantis took 37% support, 8 points ahead of Trump. This represented a 20-point shift from August 2022 polling from the same outfit showing Trump leading DeSantis by 11 points.

The Times notes that voters are getting to know DeSantis better, and that may not be in his favor.

“Since February, the share of Republican voters with a favorable view of Trump has gone from 69% to 74%. DeSantis’ favorability rating declined from 79% to 75%. The largest drop occurred in the share of Republicans who have a strongly favorable opinion of him, which went from 54% to 43% over the last three months.”

Trump is also up among self-identified conservatives, 62% to 23%, the Times notes, while DeSantis is closer with so-called moderates.

The results reflect 1,835 registered Republicans polled from May 17 to 22, with a +/- 3.5% margin of error.

The two men are staking out conflicting positions on numerous issues, with DeSantis telling aides he can be trusted to adhere to conservative principles unlike the mercurial Trump, according to reporting from The New York Times. While Trump, since last fall has been steadily jabbing the man he once endorsed for Florida Governor, only recently has the DeSantis campaign launched a direct counterattack against the former President.

Meanwhile, far in advance of DeSantis’ official entrance into the presidential race, DeSantis and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have played up a feud in recent months, a sort of cartoonish red-state-versus-blue-state dynamic, perhaps driven by the lack of in-state political competition for either man.

This most recent California poll suggests that voters aren’t all moved by this though.

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


  • Trump But Not Trump

    May 28, 2023 at 9:30 am

    Nobody was ever for Ron DeSantis. People were for this abstract guy they heard described as Trump But Not Trump. And then Ron DeSantis showed up. Everybody hates Rhonda. Some folks just dont’ know because they haven’t met him yet.

    • Amelie

      May 29, 2023 at 6:07 am

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  • DeSantis created a dystopia

    May 28, 2023 at 10:05 am

    once they see the hyper extremism moderates will no longer even entertain someone like DeSantis

    Florida has become the most unfree state in the country due to DeSantis. America one like that.

  • r

    May 28, 2023 at 11:25 am

    Trump and DeSantis peddle in nothing but hate

    • Matthew C

      May 29, 2023 at 3:21 am


  • Eli N

    May 28, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    Desantis is republicans only chance of winning so i can see why they want a proven loser in trump to run again.

    • Matthew C

      May 29, 2023 at 3:22 am

      Trump is beating Biden by 7pts. DeSantis is trailing Biden by 3pts. The GOP is dead; Trump is beloved because he is not actually a Republican.

      It doesn’t really matter, either way, because we don’t have elections in this country.

      • Dont Say FLA

        May 29, 2023 at 8:45 am

        We do have elections. They’re real, but they’re just for show. People go vote for whoever the monied class gives them to vote for. If elections really mattered, the powers that be would allow the electoral process to be entirely corrupted and to remain that way. Oh, right. The process is entirely corrupted and the powers that be, they ensure it stays corrupted. But the elections machines, they do actually report which talking head us baboons selected between to two “billionaire approved” choices put in front of us. The accuracy of the voting machines, that’s just a distraction from the real corruption which is at the procedural level in which the talking head is approved for being on the ballot.


    May 28, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

  • John Barron

    May 29, 2023 at 9:41 am

    Meatball is so isolated with no real advisors other than Leona, and doing the weather in Jax isn’t exactly an appropriate primer for running a Pres campaign!!!! It’s amateur hour in the sunshine state!! Eight people a day die on Florida’s highways but Meatball is sending 100 state troopers to help out Texas. Florida needs those troopers here!!!!

Comments are closed.


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