Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says that should former President Donald Trump be convicted in one of his four criminal trials, it would destroy Trump’s chances of winning the general election.
During an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, DeSantis was asked if he believed Trump should be president if found guilty of “attempting to overturn the 2020 election or taking nuclear secrets back to his beach club.”
DeSantis replied, “So, I signed a pledge, Willie, and that pledge is what it is,” referencing the loyalty pledge the Republican National Committee (RNC) required all candidates to sign as a condition of appearing on the party’s primary debate stage.
“Now do I think somebody under those circumstances could get elected president? The answer is no,” said DeSantis, who recently slipped behind former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in multiple polls.
“That will not happen. I think Republican voters will understand that as we get closer to voting. But it would be fatal in a general election and I don’t think the party should nominate in that situation,” the governor said.
.@WillieGeist: If Donald Trump's convicted, "do you actually still believe [he] should be president?"@GovRonDeSantis: "No, that will not happen…it would be fatal in a general election. I don't think the party should should nominate in that situation." pic.twitter.com/trWsm4l7oo
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) November 2, 2023
Trump is facing 91 charges in four sets of criminal indictments, including 44 federal charges and 47 state charges — all of which are felonies. He has consistently denied wrongdoing.
Survey data shows voter sentiment is likely to sour substantially should Trump be convicted in any case, making his chances of winning next year’s general election more difficult.
A recent POLITICO Magazine/Ipsos poll shows that “nearly one-third (32 percent) of respondents said that a conviction in the case would make them less likely to support Trump, including about one-third of independents (34 percent).”
The same poll found that 50 percent of respondents say that Trump should go to prison if convicted in the Justice Department’s 2020 election case.
Around the same time the POLITICO poll was published, a separate poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos found that 52 percent of Republicans would not vote for Trump if he were convicted of a felony.