Yet while qualifying for the ballot is one thing, getting the Lone Star State’s 162 delegates in March’s winner-take-all vote is another.
Even before Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed Donald Trump, surveys showed the Florida Governor facing a deep deficit in the state.
A University of Houston and Texas Southern University poll of 524 registered Texas GOP Primary voters from October, reported by Axios, shows the former President with 58% support and DeSantis at 14%. Nikki Haley is in third place with 6%.
The 44-point gap is actually more narrow than that suggested by other recent polling of Lone Star State leanings.
The latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll had Trump ahead by 49 points, 62% to 13%.
The Race to the White House polling average shows a 59% to 13% lead for Trump.
DeSantis brought his campaign to Texas this summer, calling attention yet again to undocumented immigrants entering at the Mexican border and promising to leave them “stone cold dead.”
He vowed to use “deadly force” via the U.S. military when asked during a news conference after his campaign event, saying that if some “cartel operatives” got “dropped,” it would change their attitude.
The Governor also visited in September to discuss energy policy proposals. He promised that if elected President, he could bring gasoline back to $2 a gallon.
Describing “waning” American influence, with Russia “exporting record amounts of energy” and China building reserves, the Governor promised “to use our energy dominance to deny our enemies revenue.”
“Instead of liberating the American oil industry to increase production, the (Joe) Biden administration has throttled the industry,” DeSantis lamented, saying America has the power to “lower gas prices” and “lower costs” for Americans while working to “restore” the country’s Strategic Reserve.
Despite making plays on public safety and pocket book issues, though, DeSantis’ campaign appears to be struggling to find any momentum in the Lone Star State.