Poll: Ron DeSantis loses half his support in Virginia GOP Presidential Primary

DeSantis AP (2)
The one bright spot here is that DeSantis is in a three-way race for 2nd choice.

New polling from Virginia suggests Gov. Ron DeSantis is losing ground with the state’s Republican Presidential Primary voters.

The August survey from Roanoke College shows the Governor is down to just 13% support, compared to the 28% he held in the previous survey this pollster released in early June.

Donald Trump maintains a commanding lead of 47% as the first choice among self-reported Virginia Republicans, followed by DeSantis at 13% and the rest of the candidates in single digits. While Trump’s level of support remains about the same as our last poll, the percentage of Republicans reporting DeSantis as their first choice has dropped by 15 (percentage points) since our last poll in May,” reads the polling memo.

A previous Roanoke College poll from February showed an even more narrow race for the top spot, with Trump ahead of DeSantis by 11 points, 39% to 28%.

The one bright spot here is that DeSantis is in a three-way race for second choice.

“We also asked Virginians to report their second-choice candidate for the Republican nomination, where the results showed a more competitive field. Approximately 19% of Republicans reported DeSantis as their second choice, followed by Trump (17%), Vivek Ramaswamy (17%), Glenn Youngkin (14%), Tim Scott (9%), Mike Pence (8%) and Nikki Haley (6%).”

One reason for the DeSantis decline might be doubts that the Florida Governor is any better positioned for a General Election than the repeatedly indicted former President.

In the recent Commonwealth Poll conducted by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, Youngkin is the only one of the three GOP hopefuls polled against Joe Biden to win outright. While 44% of respondents prefer their own Governor (against 37% for Biden), neither DeSantis nor Trump have leads.

The Race to the White House polling average likely won’t be helped by the Roanoke poll. It shows Trump ahead of DeSantis, 47% to 28%.

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


  • Margaret Keating

    August 29, 2023 at 10:49 am

    Good Morning A.G., I just recently caught one of your editorials: Poll: Ron DeSantis loses half his support in Virginia GOP Presidential Primary, and I was truly grateful for the direct and factual approach you gave us all. You did not go the ranting, bullish, condescending route that so many have in the wake of Trump’s indictments and other legal troubles, but not just him, it is almost equally troublesome for Ron DeSantis, even if he has remained so far away from unlawful or other speeches and/or uprising actions. I am not a fan of anyone right now but of course when the time comes, I will still exercise my Right To Vote, as all American Citizens should. Thank You, A.G.

    • Rick Whitaker

      August 31, 2023 at 8:44 pm

      let’s all hope you vote dem.

  • Bob Biermann

    August 29, 2023 at 10:50 am

    I voted for DeSantis to be governor for a 4 year term. He was very evasive in 2022 if he was running for President. That’s why I will NOT support him in the Primary nor will I support him in Novrmber of 2024, if by some miracle he becomes the nominated candidate.

    • University of North Florida

      August 29, 2023 at 11:40 am


    • Rick Whitaker

      August 31, 2023 at 8:42 pm

      so he deceived you. it doesn’t say much for you for voting for a guy like desantis. maybe you’ll get wiser in the future by voting dem.

  • Jared Baker

    August 29, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    Fascism has the lead in GOP, not democracy or the people’s needs. Wonder if Ron considered growing a small mustache to fit the part.
    Inmate P01135809 runs a violent cult. Out of cowardice the GOP is afraid to generate a backbone…and more importantly, a conscience.

    • Rick Whitaker

      August 31, 2023 at 8:43 pm

      great comment

Comments are closed.


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