Poll shows Donald Trump leading Ron DeSantis by 36 points
Donald Trump - Ron DeSantis. Image via AP.

Trump DeSantis
But could a different Florida politician become Vice President?

Florida Republicans now want Donald Trump as the GOP nominee— and don’t even want Ron DeSantis as Vice President. At least, that’s what a new poll released by Victory Insights shows, while also hinting another Florida man could enter the veepstakes.

The outfit’s latest poll shows Trump once again holding with a dominating lead in a state both he and DeSantis call home.

The survey found the former President leading the GOP field with almost 59% support. The Florida Governor remains in second place, with under 23%.

That makes DeSantis the only other candidate outside of single digits — or even polling outside the survey’s 4.3-percnetage-point margin of error.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sits in a distant third with less than 4% support. Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has just over 3%. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley sits under 2% and former Vice President Mike Pence clears 1%. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina sits under 1%, while another near 1% favors a candidate not listed in the poll.

Florida won’t hold its Presidential Primary, which is closed to registered Republican voters, until March 19. The field could be winnowed by then.

Victory Insights pollsters also tested a one-on-one match between the two leading Republicans in the field. But the poll shows Trump maintains a smaller but still dominating 57% to 30% lead over DeSantis. When pollsters pushed undecideds in that poll, a majority of them then went to Trump, growing the front-runner’s lead to 64% to 36%, a 28-percentage-point spread.

The survey was taken over two days and into the first Republican Primary debate, from Aug. 21-23, using a combination of automated phone response and text-to-web. DeSantis participated in the debate, while Trump did not and instead participated in a Tucker Carlson interview released as counterprogramming.

Victory Insights has seen Florida Republicans swing in which favorite son should bear the nomination.

In November, shortly after DeSantis won re-election as Governor in a landslide, he led Trump 47% to 37% in Florida. But by April, Trump had a 47% to 32% lead. In May, DeSantis regained a slight 40% to 39% edge. But he has slipped in all polling since formally announcing his bid for President, and Trump now holds majority support in the state for the first time this year.

Of note, pollsters also asked who Trump should pick as Vice President if he becomes nominee.

Ramaswamy, a virtual unknown before his run for President, surfaced as Florida Republicans’ top choice for running mate, with more than 22% support.

Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake had about 13% support, while Scott had north of 12%.

Another Floridian, U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, had greater than 10% support in the poll. Just under 8% want U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Almost 6% think Trump should run with Pence again, while 5% chose other unnamed candidates. Nearly 24% fell in the undecided column.

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].


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