New poll shows Gov. DeSantis viewed unfavorably by majority of independent voters

 June 28, 2023

While former President Donald Trump is unquestionably the frontrunner to become the Republican Party's 2024 nominee, it is also undeniable that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is currently the clear runner-up in that regard.

Unfortunately for DeSantis, a recent poll showed that his favorability rating, particularly among independent voters, has plunged dramatically since he formally launched his presidential campaign in May, Breitbart reported.

That is potentially really bad news for the Florida governor and doesn't bode well for his electoral chances, though it must be noted that it is still early in the 2024 campaign season and a lot can change over the several months that will elapse between now and when voters begin to actually cast ballots in state primary elections next year.

Not doing well with independents

The Civiqs polling firm recently released the results of a survey it conducted of nearly 44,000 registered voters between May 18 through June 27 on the favorability rating of Gov. DeSantis.

Overall, that rating currently stands at 35% favorable and 56% unfavorable, with 9% unsure, which closely mirrors his standing among independent voters, of whom 33% hold a favorable view, 55% view him unfavorably, and 12% are unsure.

That -22% spread is a stark difference from where DeSantis stood in that same poll in mid-December, shortly after he was re-elected to govern Florida for another term by a wide margin, when he peaked at 51% favorable, 40% unfavorable, and 9% unsure.

From mid-January to the beginning of March, the governor essentially broke even at around 45% favorable and unfavorable, give or take a point or two, but his favorability clearly began to decrease in March and April and that decline became even more dramatic in May when he officially kicked off his presidential campaign.

Well-liked by most Republicans, despised by nearly all Democrats

That said, while the Civiqs poll shows that Gov. DeSantis' favorability is struggling greatly with independent voters, the pollsters also showed that he is holding strong with registered Republican voters.

With that particular cohort, the governor currently enjoys a +59% spread as 73% of Republicans hold a favorable view of him compared to 14% with an unfavorable view and 12% who are unsure.

However, even among Republican voters, DeSantis' favorability has declined from around 80% in early May and its peak of 90% when he was re-elected last November.

As for his overall unfavorability of 56%, that appears to be driven largely by registered Democratic voters in the survey, of whom 93% view DeSantis unfavorably -- just 3% favorable and 4% unsure -- and those numbers have remained relatively unchanged all the way back to May 2022.

Trailing Trump by around 30 points in RCP polling average

Meanwhile, setting aside favorability ratings, the RealClearPolitics average of 2024 GOP primary polls tells a not-too-dissimilar tale in terms of who voters are likely to support when it comes time to cast their ballots.

Currently, Gov. DeSantis averages 21.5% support in the polls, more than 30 points behind former President Trump, who enjoys an average support level of 52.1%.

Further, like the favorability poll, the RCP average in graph form shows that the Florida governor, who never drew closer than about 13 points behind Trump, experienced an initial drop-off in support in April that declined even further in May but has since rebounded slightly in June -- all of which mirrors increases in support for Trump that are likely attributable to the criminal indictments he has faced from partisan prosecutors over the past few months.

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