Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, was previously seen as a strong contender alongside former President Donald Trump. Following the 2022 midterm elections, where Trump’s candidates faced numerous losses while DeSantis’ candidates enjoyed substantial victories, Republicans began to regard the governor as the successor to the former president. However, it seems that this perception has undergone a significant shift.
As of September 20, a recent Fox Business survey of the South Carolina primary race indicates that Ron DeSantis remains in the third position, and his support is declining. In July, Governor DeSantis held the same third-place position, with the backing of 13% of the electorate.
However, his support has decreased, with only 10% of conservative voters in South Carolina expressing their intention to vote for him now. He currently lags behind both Trump, who is leading the race, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
In Iowa, according to the most recent Trafalgar Group survey, Ron DeSantis occupies the second position, securing 16% of the vote, while Donald Trump leads with a substantial 48.6%. This presents a significant challenge for Governor DeSantis, particularly considering his vigorous campaign efforts in the state.
Despite dedicating substantial time and resources, including visits to 58 out of Iowa’s 99 counties, engaging with voters, and garnering endorsements, his super PAC’s substantial financial investments, he still finds himself trailing Trump by a considerable margin of over 30 points, and the Iowa caucuses are just five months away.
Even more concerning is the fact that Ron DeSantis is behind Donald Trump in all of the polls conducted in Florida as well. This is noteworthy given that the governor achieved a landslide victory in his re-election bid, marking the widest margin in any gubernatorial race in the state over the past four decades. However, it seems that DeSantis, who owes much of his rise to power to Trump’s support, is encountering significant challenges when it comes to stepping out of the former president’s shadow.
Political analysts and observers have pointed out several noteworthy missteps in DeSantis’ campaign. Among these, some contend that his most significant error was failing to enter the race when he was enjoying favorable poll numbers following his re-election campaign. Instead, he embarked on international trips to enhance his credentials and delayed his announcement for several months.
As a result, DeSantis finds himself in the position of pursuing the most widely admired Republican president since Ronald Reagan, and he is encountering considerable difficulty in closing the gap.