DeSantis Leads Trump By Big Margins In Key Primary States
New post-midterm election polls find that Republicans in critical primary states favor Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over former President Donald Trump by substantial margins.
Polling conducted Nov. 11-13 by WPAi Intelligence on behalf of the conservative Club for Growth Action found that DeSantis is the preferred candidate of 48% of Iowa’s likely Republican voters, compared to just 37% for Trump. The margin is even wider in New Hampshire: Republicans prefer DeSantis by a 52% to 37% margin.
In what must be a particular humiliation for Trump, he trails DeSantis in their shared home state of Florida by 26 points — 56% to 30%.
Separately, a post-midterm poll commissioned by the Texas Republican Party found 43% of Texas Republicans prefer DeSantis, compared to 32% who back Trump.
Not only are those leads substantial, but they also show DeSantis’ position has strengthened in the wake of his resounding reelection victory in Florida, where he not only defeated Charlie Crist by a whopping 19 percentage points, but also helped lead Republicans to a statewide thrashing of Democrats — to include turning majority-Hispanic Miami-Dade county red. In 2018, he lost the county by 20 points.
In August polls conducted for Club For Growth Action, Trump led DeSantis in Iowa, was tied with him in New Hampshire, and trailed by just seven points in Florida. Now, he finds himself well behind in all three.
Trump tumbled fast in Texas too. Just last month, the former president easily led among Lone Star State Republicans, 46% to 29%, but is now down 11 points.
It remains to be seen if some of the glow of DeSantis’ reelection will prove temporary, or if Trump is able to boost his own prospects by attacking his undeclared rival.
In the days leading up to the midterm elections, Trump called the popular Florida governor “Ron DeSanctimonious.” After the election, Trump threatened him, hinting he would reveal “things about him that won’t be very flattering…I know more about him than anybody, other than, perhaps, his wife.”
Likely referring to Trump’s jabs at DeSantis, Club for Growth president David McIntosh said:
“Our polling shows that Republican primary voters recognize Trump’s insults against Republicans as hollow and counterproductive, and it’s taking a significant toll on his support.”
The polls themselves may be a sign that Trump is also in growing disfavor with Republican Party leadership and allied organizations. Politico characterized the very release of the Club For Growth Action poll as a shot across Trump’s bow:
“The conservative Club for Growth is sending a warning shot at former President Donald Trump on the eve of his expected 2024 campaign launch — and indicating it might back his chief potential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. …
The release of the memo represents the latest twist in a complicated relationship between the Club for Growth and Trump. After savaging Trump during the 2016 campaign, the conservative group became an ally during his White House tenure.“
Tensions came to a boil in this year’s Ohio Senate primary, as Club for Growth backed Josh Mandel while Trump backed J.D. Vance. Politico reports that, as things deteriorated, Trump sent a pointed message to Club For Growth’s McIntosh: “Go fuck yourself.” Trump’s candidate won the primary and the general election.
Thu, 11/17/2022 – 20:40