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Ron DeSantis leapfrogs Trump in new poll of Florida Republicans

In a dramatic reversal, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis zoomed past former President Donald Trump in a new USA Today poll of Sunshine State Republicans.

The survey found that 48 percent would back DeSantis in a hypothetical Republican primary, while 40 percent signaled support for Trump.

That marks a 15-point change from January, when Trump held a 7-point lead over the Florida firebrand.

Both men are considered GOP front-runners for the 2024 presidential nomination but have yet to declare their intent to run.

Trump remains dogged by a DOJ investigation into his handling of classified documents that culminated in a raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate last month.

DeSantis has emerged as a polarizing and prominent national figure in recent years, casting himself as a fearless culture warrior and party maverick.

A picture of a new poll comparing Trump and DeSantis.
A new USA Today survey showed that 48% of Florida Republicans would back Gov. DeSantis in a hypothetical Republican primary.
A picture of Trump on a stage at a Save America Rally in Ohio.
According to the poll, only 40 % of Republicans in Florida said they would support former President Donald Trump.

A picture of Trump on a speaking at a Save America Rally in Ohio.
Trump spoke at a recent Save America Rally, supporting Republican candidates running for state and federal offices in Ohio.

The poll of 500 Floridians was conducted between Sept. 15 and Sept. 18 — immediately after DeSantis shipped 50 migrants off to Martha’s Vineyard to hammer home in Democratic cities and enclave the burden of what he has called President Biden’s open-border policy.

David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, the polling firm that conducted the survey for USA Today, told the outlet that the new numbers could signal a shift in Republican sentiment.

While it only sampled DeSantis’ constituents, the pollster said the results are potentially significant.

A picture of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking to a crowd of supporters during the Keep Florida Free Tour.
The survey found that Gov. DeSantis is a better match against President Biden in a hypothetical presidential campaign than former President Trump.
AP

“But it is one data point suggesting a shift in preferences from GOP voters away from Trump and toward DeSantis from Republicans who know both potential combatants quite well,” he told USA Today.

The poll also found that DeSantis enjoyed a more comfortable margin in a hypothetical matchup against President Biden than Trump.

DeSantis held an 8-point advantage over Biden, compared to just 3 points for Trump, according to the survey.

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