Former President Donald Trump now holds a 20-point lead over Governor Ron DeSantis — in his own state of Florida.
The poll, conducted by Florida Atlantic University Mainstreet PolCom Lab, found that 50 percent of Republican primary voters in the state support Trump. DeSantis is in second place, with just 30 percent support.
“Although DeSantis and Trump enjoy significant popularity among Floridians, Trump maintains a formidable 20 percent lead over DeSantis among statewide GOP primary voters, with Trump capturing the support of 50 percent of Republican voters compared to DeSantis’ 30 percent,” the pollsters reported.
The PolCom Lab poll additionally found that one in five Florida Republicans perceive supporting a candidate other than Trump in the primaries as “disloyal,” which they noted poses “a challenging environment for any contender seeking to challenge the former president’s dominance.”
“The poll highlights Donald Trump’s quite durable support. He does especially well with white working-class voters, who have consistently formed a steadfast base for the former president,” said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., professor of political science at FAU. “This persistent support continues to bolster Trump’s strong and steady position within the party.”
Though he is far behind Trump, the poll shows that DeSantis would defeat Biden by 13 percent (49 percent vs. 36 percent) among Floridians, “which is larger than the 10 percent edge Trump has over the president,” the pollsters noted.
Additionally, 54 percent of Floridians “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of DeSantis’ job as governor.
“These poll results could be an important motivator for DeSantis to promote his bid for the Republican primary, as he may be a stronger candidate against the incumbent,” said Dukhong Kim, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU. “The poll indicates that the margin held by Trump or DeSantis at this time is larger than the 3.3 percent vote difference observed in the 2020 presidential election, suggesting that Florida is shifting toward becoming a safe state for Republicans.”
No other candidates have double-digit support in the state.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence both have two percent support. Tim Scott and Vivek Ramaswamy have 2.5 percent and 3.6 percent support, respectively.
The poll, conducted from June 27 to July 1, included a sample of 933 Florida voters. The margin of error stands at +/- 3.2 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level, with higher margins of error in each subsample.