Poll: Ron DeSantis slips to third place in South Carolina

AP DeSantis Pride
Nikki Haley has a marginal lead in a survey released Sunday.

Ron DeSantis has joked about renting a “sublease” in South Carolina to chase votes in its presidential primary, but a new Fox Business poll indicates he needs to call a real estate agent as soon as possible.

The survey of likely Primary participants released Sunday shows DeSantis in third place, behind not only former President Donald Trump but also former Palmetto State Gov. Nikki Haley. Meanwhile, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is close behind DeSantis, suggesting he could soon be in fourth place.

Trump has 48% support, with Haley at 14%, DeSantis at 13%, and Scott at 10%. Other candidates are in single digits.

The irony in Haley and Scott surging in South Carolina is in part because the Governor has indicted them as being part of a “culture of losing” that has gripped the Republican Party.

DeSantis’ political operation has targeted Haley specifically because to her criticisms of how Florida’s Governor has dealt with the Walt Disney Company. And the Governor has devoted time to the state recently, including a rally in Tega Cay where security removed a kid with a Rainbow Flag, and a press conference in West Columbia where DeSantis vowed to wipe the “woke” out of the military.

The new poll is the latest to show DeSantis has ground to make up in the state, a read supported by the Race to the White House polling average. On average, Trump has 41% support, with DeSantis at 18%. In-state candidates Haley and Scott are at 10% each, meanwhile.

DeSantis’ team has quietly expressed confidence for months that voters would eventually tire of Trump’s escalating legal troubles and personal baggage. But that same baggage, playing out in the U.S. legal system just as the GOP primary intensifies, is leaving precious little oxygen for his rivals to break through. And Trump’s standing with Republican primary voters seems to be growing stronger with every new legal challenge.

Still, DeSantis’ team has raised a stunning $150 million for his presidential ambitions so far. The vast majority, $130 million, has gone to a super PAC run by allies who cannot legally coordinate with the campaign.

The DeSantis campaign itself raised more than $20 million in the first six weeks he was in the race, though federal filings released over the weekend revealed that he and his team had burned through more than $8 million in a spending spree that included more than 100 paid staffers, a large security detail and luxury travel.

DeSantis’ team acknowledged over the weekend that he was cutting “less than 10” staffers to help reduce costs. On Tuesday, a spokesperson declined to answer specific questions about other expenditures or future spending plans.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this post.

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


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  • Dont Say FLA

    July 23, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    Rhonda doesn’t need a sub lease in SC. They need to lease a sub and go on a tour of the Titanic.

  • Third Place

    July 23, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    Ron is only 3rd place is SC because SC is split between two SC candidates. If there were only one SC candidate, Ron would be somewhere in the vicinity of tied with Pence which is more than Ron deserves.

    • c gee

      July 23, 2023 at 8:26 pm

      DeSantis is a LOSER.
      He is so far right that he will get few voters to back him.
      Hope the fools that gave him $$ will be do happy..ha

    • c gee

      July 23, 2023 at 8:28 pm

      DeSantis is a LOSER.
      He is so far right that he will get few voters to back him.
      Hope the fools that gave him $$ will be do happy..ha ha

  • Even Jeb is Laughing

    July 23, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    Even Jeb didn’t fail this hard, this fast!

    • c gee

      July 23, 2023 at 8:29 pm

      DeSantis is a LOSER.
      Hope the fools who gave him money have learned their lesson.

Comments are closed.


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