Gov. Ron DeSantis just got some of his worst polling news yet.
A survey The number of likely Republican primary voters in Florida Atlantic University’s Sunshine State shows he is well behind former President Donald Trump, while the pair’s other rivals for the GOP nomination are way out in the wild. Mr. Trump is ahead of Mr. DeSantis in the poll by 50 to 30 points.
The poll validated two narratives related to the DeSantis campaign: The 2024 Republican primary is currently a two-candidate contest. And Mr. DeSantis loses.
While losing a state is hardly the death knell for a presidential candidate, losing one’s home state as that state’s incumbent governor is a different story altogether. Adding to the pressure is the high number of delegates in the state — 125 — and rules that say the winner of the state’s primary gets all the delegates, rather than splitting them based on vote share.
Presidential primaries in the United States are decided by the number of votes cast by delegates “won” by individual candidates in various state primaries and caucuses around the country. In 2024, the Republican nominee who successfully wins the nomination will be the person who received the votes of at least 1,234 delegates.
Donald Trump’s victory in Florida over then-rival Marco Rubio, a US senator from the state, in 2016 was seen as the end of Mr Rubio’s campaign; The Florida Senator’s campaign collapsed after a damaging confrontation with Chris Christie at the debate stage. Other candidates such as Sen. Ted Cruz and John Kasich suffered similar defeats in their home regions, paving the way for Mr. Trump’s nomination.
Mr. DeSantis remains the only other Republican to top the 10 percent mark in this poll and many other polls in 2024. Currently, polls suggest Florida’s governor is the only contender with a chance of beating the former president, but he has yet to garner support after a muted entry into the campaign trail.
Still, other Republicans like Nikki Haley and Chris Christie are likely to make it onto the debate stage alongside the former president and could change the dynamic of the race if they are able to launch effective attacks against him.
The Florida Atlantic University poll is expected to have polled 315 Republican area coders in Florida between June 27 and July 1, with a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.