In the clash of the two Florida men, former president Donald Trump is beating Ron DeSantis by 35 percentage points, according to a new poll of Republican presidential primary voters that underscores the challenges the governor’s faces in his home state and the early states.
“Where DeSantis has been governor and the people know him best, he still can’t beat Trump. And if DeSantis can’t win in his own backyard, where can he win?” asked top Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, who conducted the survey for a private political client. Fabrizio also surveys for the pro-Trump super PAC, but other pollsters say his Florida numbers jibe with the trend lines of the race.
The poll of 500 Florida Republicans, which shows the other presidential candidates polling in single digits, comes on the heels of the Republican Party of Florida executive committee’s decision last month to nix a party loyalty oath at Trump’s behest. DeSantis allies tried to keep the oath in place, but Trump’s support is so deep in the grassroots that the governor was steamrolled.