With former President Donald Trump considered the frontrunner to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, and with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis expected to jump into the GOP presidential sweepstakes within the next couple of months, all eyes are on early hypothetical public opinion polls.
Yes, polls this early in the campaign season are usually dismissed, but with the soon-to-be Trump vs. DeSantis political cage match about to begin (it may have already begun), donors, media types, talking TV heads, and political operatives, are all trying to gauge these surveys in order to get some kind grasp of the impending slugfest between the two Florida residents.
The latest average of polls shows President Trump holding a commanding lead over Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Latest Reuters/Ipsos poll has Trump leading DeSantis by 14 percentage points.
The Harvard-Harris survey has Trump leading DeSantis by 26 percentage points, followed by former Vice President Mike Pence with 7 percentage points, and Ambassador Nikki Haley with 5 percentage points.
In the most recent Emerson College poll in New Hampshire between the two men, Trump bests DeSantis by a whopping 41 points.
Trump does appear to be surging across the country, especially after the news broke that he could be indicted by Manhattan DA Alvin Briggs, in what is being perceived as a “witch hunt” by an overzealous “Soros-funded” prosecutor.
But while the former President appears to have widespread support around the country, his support in Florida has slipped.
In February, The Floridian conducted a poll of 409 strictly and likely Miami-Dade County Republican, Democratic, and Independent voters, showing Gov. DeSantis outperforming President Trump against President Joe Biden in that county in the 2024 general election.
On March 21-23, The Floridian conducted a face-to-face poll with 14 of the 20 members of Florida’s Republican congressional delegation, asking them if they supported DeSantis or Trump in a hypothetical 2024 GOP presidential primary race.
All 14 of the lawmakers we spoke to asked that we not include their names in this story for fear of retribution, and or criticism. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Anna Paulina Luna have already endorsed President Trump.
Trump received 6 votes while DeSantis received 3. Interestingly enough, 5 members, who all supported Trump in 2020, said they were undecided.
“If you were to ask constituents in my district, they would tell you that they believe it’s time to move on,” said one lawmaker.
A couple of members who support Trump said that DeSantis’s potential run for President was a lack of respect for Trump, who one argues, “If it wasn’t for the President, DeSantis would not be where he is right now.”
“It’s a lack of respect and very telling of who he (DeSantis) really is,” added the lawmaker.
One DeSantis supporter said that he was tired of seeing Trump act so “unpresidential” on social media, referencing the attacks Trump has levied on celebrities, but especially against DeSantis.
All The President’s /Governor's Hombres
As you can imagine, Trump’s hardcore base of support has come out in force in his defense, and former Trump supporters now in DeSantis’s corner, are also pushing back against the narratives "MAGA" Republicans“ are trying to make against DeSantis.
“Politically I think it will make Trump stronger. At times, Trump’s magic is that when he is embattled he is able to expose some the worse things in our government that need reform,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz during an exclusive interview with The Floridian.
Former Trump advisor Roger Stone, who is still one of his most ardent Trump supporters, recently stated on his Stone Zone podcast,” Trump will beat him (DeSantis) like a drum, and it’ll be the end of Ron’s political career.”
In response to The Floridian’s request for comment, Stone stated that he believes that DeSantis has made “the single greatest political miscalculation” he has ever seen in his decades-long career in Republican politics.
"The governor's initial comments about Alvin Bragg's efforts to indict Trump are the single greatest political miscalculation I have ever seen. then he compounded his error by attacking Trump in his interview with that Limey c—sucker Piers Morgan," stated Stone.
Alex Bruesewitz, the CEO of XStrategies, has been blistering DeSantis on Twitter, referring to him as nothing more than a “RINO” or Republican In Name Only.
"Ron and the RINOs stand no chance! MAGA is here to stay,” stated Bruesewitz.
Bruesewitz appears to have taken on the roll of Trump's social media wrecking ball, tangling with DeSantis “influencers” like John Cardillo, who supported Trump in both 2016 and 2020,
Cardillo recently responded to Bruesewitz’s criticism DeSantis over an excerpt from his “The Courage to be Free” best-selling book, where DeSantis writes about his upbringing in the Tampa Bay area.
“Alex is a boring child who, instead of going after Soros funded prosecutors, is spending night and day going after the most conservative governor in America. Is Alex a Dem plant,” asked Cardillo.
“As someone who travels the country often, I’ve learned that Twitter and all social media isn’t the real world, and in the real world, albeit anecdotal, but hundreds if not thousands of anecdotes which to me are now semi-scientific data, Trump has lost independents and NPAs, and cannot win a general election against any Democrat including Biden," stated Cardillo to The Floridian.
While Cardillo has been mostly on defense and brushing back attacks against DeSantis, none of the so-called “influencers” that Team DeSantis has enlisted, have not targeted Trump.
DeSantis isn’t an official candidate, so why would these influencers attack Trump and run the risk of hurting their standing in Republican politics?
We have seen how Trump goes after his detractors.
The first 2024 Republican presidential primary debate will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in August.