In a recent survey of possible Sunshine State Republican presidential primary voters, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a nearly 2-1 advantage over former President Donald Trump.
When registered Republicans were polled, DeSantis outperformed Trump by a significant margin of 52% to 27%, with Nikki Haley and Mike Pence trailing well behind in the low single digits.
DeSantis outperforms Trump in a fictitious #FloridaMan-a-Mano contest, crushing the former president with 59% to just 28%.
Michael Binder, director of the University of North Florida poll, said he wasn’t shocked that DeSantis is outperforming Trump just months after winning reelection by a landslide.
His lead jumps are interesting to see… once you’ve reduced the field to two,” said Binder.
“DeSantis is a lot superior.”
Trump, who declared his intention to run for president again last year, has recently been pulling ahead of DeSantis in GOP national surveys.
DeSantis is anticipated to run against Trump for the GOP nomination, most likely declaring his candidacy in the spring.
This week, DeSantis revealed an aggressive right-wing agenda he intends to drive through the Florida legislature, which Republicans govern.
But, the poll shows that these initiatives remain largely unpopular among the same voters who gave Republicans a resounding victory last fall, providing cautionary indications about them.
Just 22% of voters support a Florida GOP proposal to outlaw abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, a significantly stricter regulation than the state’s current 15-week limit.
Just 21% of people approve DeSantis’ decision to permit unrestricted concealed carry of firearms, making it even less popular.
In addition, a substantial majority of Sunshine State voters in the poll oppose DeSantis’ proposals to stop efforts to increase diversity in public colleges and restrict discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms, as well as a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
According to Binder, several of the folks we met with weren’t overly enthusiastic about any of DeSantis’ most recent ideas in his campaign against “woke” culture.