Ohio Republican Party backs Donald Trump despite Ron DeSantis’ ‘Rust Belt’ roots

trump desantis
The Florida Governor claimed family connections to the state. That didn't stop a very early endorsement against him, however.

Former President Donald Trump has the GOP behind him in the Buckeye State, delivering a blow to Ron DeSantis in a state where he has played up his family ties.

The Ohio Republican Party is endorsing Trump, making the unusual decision to do so ahead of the state’s Presidential Primary on March 19, an event when 78 delegates will be allocated to the winner.

In a statement, the party Chair said the former President is the “right choice for the moment.”

The endorsement of Trump comes after a number of polls have shown he’s the choice of Republicans in the state.

A November Emerson College Poll of 468 Republican voters shows that 8% who intend to participate in the state’s GOP Presidential Primary on March 19 plan to vote for the Florida Governor, putting him in third place behind Nikki Haley. Trump had 62% support in the same survey.

Ohio Northern University (ONU) released a poll last month that showed the Governor with 10% support, which was good for second at the time.

DeSantis has made political appearances in Ohio this year, albeit before the formal launch of his presidential campaign. He visited the state while South Florida was dealing with historic flooding in the Spring.

The Governor, addressing the Butler County Republican Party at its Lincoln Day Dinner, said in April he represented “Ohio values.”

“I can stand here representing Ohio values because the two most important women in my life (are from Ohio),” DeSantis said. “My mother is from Youngstown and my wife is from Troy, and so my family reflects your family.”

The Governor also touted his Buckeye State ties in his memoir, “The Courage to be Free.”

“I was geographically raised in Tampa Bay,” DeSantis wrote. “But culturally, my upbringing reflected the working-class communities in western Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio — from weekly church attendance to the expectation that one would earn his keep. This made me God-fearing, hard-working and America-loving.”

During an appearance touting the book with the Fox News Channel’s Mark Levin, DeSantis explained how the region’s values formed him and buoyed his innate sense of conservatism.

“My father’s from western Pennsylvania, my mother’s from Northeastern Ohio. So that is, like, steel country. That is like blue-collar, salt-of-the-earth. And, as you know, Mark, Florida’s very eclectic. People kind of come from all over. We do have a culture, and so I grew up in that culture, but really it was kind of those Rust Belt values that raised me.”

Yet despite the cloying appeals to regional loyalties, DeSantis’ “steel country” ties didn’t forge a bond with Ohio Republicans who want another try for Trump.

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


  • Michael K

    December 1, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Culturally, he’s from the 1850s, and America is not interested in his new confederacy. Nobody likes Rhonda, his poop fixation, and high-heels.

  • Jay Smif

    December 1, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    “We’re going to back the documented criminal, traitor and pathological liar, because we’re in a cult, and can’t even pretend to care about things like qualifications, patriotism, or law and order anymore.”

    – The GQP as a whole, localized in Ohio for this piece.

  • Biscuit

    December 1, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    NewsBurp out of Ohio: GOP voters boldly step forward in a poll to declare themselves made up of Buckeye Morons (62%) and Buckeye Idiots (8%). Go Buckeyes!
    What a bunch of nuts.

  • rick whitaker

    December 2, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    ohio, the jim jordan state, wouldn’t accept anybody but the orange jesus.

Comments are closed.


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