Ron DeSantis has slight lead over Trump in Florida primary poll

 April 6, 2023

Donald Trump is lagging behind his top GOP rival Ron DeSantis among Florida voters, according to a fresh poll from The Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, Inc.

44 percent of Republican primary voters in the Sunshine state prefer their governor, compared to 39 percent who said the same of Trump, now a Florida resident.

DeSantis tops Trump

The poll found that DeSantis is popular in the state, with 53 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of the governor and 36 percent saying they have an unfavorable view.

Both Trump and President Biden are underwater in the state. Trump's favorability rating is 39 percent favorable and 50 percent unfavorable, while Biden's is 33 percent favorable and 54 percent unfavorable.

DeSantis is also more popular with GOP voters than Trump, with 87 percent saying they like the governor compared to 71 percent for Trump.

The margin of error was plus or minus four points. The survey was taken from March 27 to March 30 among 625 Florida voters.

Trump surges nationally

DeSantis has widely been seen as the only serious threat to Trump receiving the nomination. In poll after poll, no other candidate besides Trump comes within double-digits.

This latest survey suggests a competitive fight for the 2024 Republican nomination is still likely despite the unprecedented criminal indictment of Trump, which has rallied Republicans behind the former president.

On a national level, Trump has been surging: a Reuters poll found that 48 percent of Republicans prefer Trump as the 2024 nominee, compared to 19 percent for DeSantis, a steep drop from 30 percent a month ago.

A poll released Monday has Trump leading DeSantis by 13 points in the early primary state of New Hampshire.

Trump prosecution scrambles primary

There are many weeks to go before the primary gets started, and as they say, a week is an eternity in politics.

It remains to be seen how Trump’s prosecution will impact the primary long-term, but it will likely be on the minds of voters: Trump’s trial (that is, if there is a trial) is scheduled to start in January, just a month before the Iowa caucuses.

Trump has accused DeSantis, who has been crisscrossing the country on a book tour, of running a "shadow campaign."

DeSantis is expected to declare his candidacy after the end of the legislative session, which has seen him pursue conservative priorities like constitutional carry and a six-week abortion ban.

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