Poll shows dead heat in Florida between Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump

The Governor's campaign launch provided a serious lift. Will it stick?

Two Florida politicians remain the top contenders for the GOP nomination for President. Now a Naples-based pollster found Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump in a tie among Sunshine State voters.

Victory Insights polled likely GOP Primary voters in Florida and found a neck-and-neck contest. DeSantis barely comes out on top of a crowded field, polling at 38.2% with Trump at 38.0%. That’s well within the poll’s 3.9% margin of error, making a statistical tie. No other candidate makes a statistically significant showing. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott polls above 3% while former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are both under 3%. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy barely registered above 0%.

In a head-to-head race between just DeSantis and Trump, the Governor holds a slightly stronger position, coming in at just over 40% while Trump sits at 39%, but again, the 1.2% margin between them falls within the error margin.

Pollsters surveyed 700 individuals from between May 25 and May 27, a period entirely after DeSantis formally launched his long-anticipated campaign for President. Trump announced his candidacy in November.

“It’s hard – and not our place – to tell whether these results will stick,” wrote senior pollster Ben Galbraith in a polling memo. “One could argue that DeSantis’s jump in the polls is a knee-jerk reaction to his announcement, one that will pass quickly. However, one could also make the argument that this is just the start of DeSantis’ campaign, and as he continues his outreach to voters, his vote share will increase. For now, all we know is that the race is close – and far from over.”

The fight may prove especially important. Leaked audio from a donor meeting after DeSantis’ launch shows the Governor’s campaign foresees the nomination potentially being decided by Florida Republican voters. That state’s winner-takes-all Presidential Preference Primary is scheduled for March 19 next year.

Victory Insights’ polling has shown a fluctuation in Florida over the last six or months or so. Polling in November just before DeSantis’ landslide re-election, the Governor led Trump 47% to 37%. But in early April, the pollster found Trump leading 47% to DeSantis’ 32%. Now the candidates appear in a dead heat.

Throughout that time, DeSantis has maintained stronger favorability than any candidate in the field. Pollsters also find DeSantis and Trump, despite ideological similarities, appeal to different sets of Republican voters. Among upper class voters, DeSantis holds a more sizable 42% to 35% lead on Trump, but among lower class voters, Trump leads 47% to 35%.

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].


  • Adelbert Dot Com 👍

    May 28, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    Orange Berlusconi or Mini Hitler? Who will be the one to get the nomination and lose in 2024? Does it really matter?

    • Impeach Biden

      May 28, 2023 at 3:33 pm

      Another brain dead zombie that will cast a ballot for the brain dead Biden. Boy oh boy.

      • Adelbert Dot Com 👍

        May 28, 2023 at 4:13 pm

        Brain dead who? Ashli Babbitt? He got a girl killed!!! Also many indictments inbound! Are you on a contraband cell phone in jail???

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      • Ocean Joe

        May 28, 2023 at 4:59 pm

        Biden/Feinstein ’24!
        As long as they’ve got a pulse they’re better than nazis!

      • LEE ROLLER

        May 28, 2023 at 10:18 pm

        I won’t vote for Biden so much as I would vote against Trump or DeSantis.

        I’ll take feckless and befuddled over malevolent and autocratic.


      • Your Daddy President Biden

        May 30, 2023 at 7:13 am

        Hey Landlord!

        Uncle Joe is your tenant and he lives in your filthy Qristian head RENT-FREE!!!

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  • PeterH

    May 28, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    The key to this polling is the fact:
    The majority of Florida voters were not polled for this survey!

    Republicans 5,307,574
    Democrats 4,834,794
    Independent Voters 4,031,983

    Independent voters decide elections. Independent candidates are better educated and politically moderate.

    • PeopleRClueless

      May 30, 2023 at 8:14 am

      You really are clueless – Independents in Florida WILL NOT decide the primary. They can’t vote in primaries in FL!

  • Li

    May 28, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    Floridians are rather selfish. I keep reading in comment sections: Desantis promised us 2 terms and I am not ready to share him.

  • Tropical

    May 29, 2023 at 12:02 am

    Dead heat in dangerous, smarmy creepiness.

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 29, 2023 at 8:15 am

    The Ron Don Serf Shop campaigns are halfway to dead heat and it ain’t that hot out.

  • Earl Pitts American

    May 29, 2023 at 11:04 am

    Good morning America,
    Stand by for an official Earl Pitts American Declaration:
    Wherefore: Since the left so desperetly wants to spank Trump again.
    Wherefore: Since the left so desperatly wants to avoid the upcoming landslide major spanking from Desantis.
    I, Earl Pitts American declare this poll to be fake and guilty of hiding of the true polling results that Desantis will steamroll Trump then steamroll Dementia Joe in the biggest landslide election since God Created The Heavens and The Earth.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts “The Big Voice On The Right” American

    • Elliott Offen

      May 29, 2023 at 1:29 pm

      Get out of here you jack off, whack off, and smack off. You will end up like the Rubio canvasser…

      • Earl Pitts American

        May 29, 2023 at 4:42 pm

        Y’all now go easy on Smelliott,
        Remember Smelliott is my followup employee and he’s just doing his job as my contrarian poster. Hey he makes me look great and boosts the circulation for our host publication.
        A lot of you may not be aware but Smelliott is a super star in his own right with thousands of dedacated followers.
        Thank you America,
        Earl Pitts American

        • Elliott Offen

          May 29, 2023 at 10:22 pm

          Being called a smack off doesn’t make you look great. Seek help for your intellectual disabilities.

    • PeopleRClueless

      May 30, 2023 at 8:17 am

      Get off the pipe dude. This is a BS poll to begin with – 700 people in a state of over 21 million. LOL I’ve spoken to at least 300 people and NOT ONE is voting for DeSantis in the primary – they’re ALL Trump.

  • Sonja Fitch

    May 30, 2023 at 6:16 am

    Wtf. Desantis has NOT been doing his job. Ask those folks in southwest Florida Desantis hims so busy running for President. I am torn do I want him to win or loose?!! Either way Desantis has to Go!

  • Michael K

    May 30, 2023 at 7:26 am

    Can you imagine how the thin-skinned, vengeance seeking, racist, whining DeSaster is going to act for the remainder of his term after he loses his shot at the nomination?

    Who knows what costly, nasty cruelty and petty vindictiveness will wreak expensive havoc on our state and those who refuse to goose step with a failed dear leader.

Comments are closed.


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