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Donald Trump Holds Commanding Lead Over DeSantis, GOP Field in Florida, UNF Poll Shows

Former President Donald Trump is ahead of the GOP in Florida, according to a new poll from the University of North Florida’s (UNF) Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL).

Trump takes 60 percent of likely Republican presidential primary voters, with Gov. Ron DeSantis a distant second in his home state with 21 percent.

The rest of the field stands in single digits, with former UN Amb. and Gov. Nikki Haley, R-SC, in third with 6 percent, followed by former Gov. Chris Christie, R-NJ, with 2 percent and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy with 1 percent.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, Gov. Doug Burgum, R-ND, and former Gov. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., all take less than one-half of 1 percent while 1 percent back other candidates and 1 percent opted for former Vice President Mike Pence, who recently dropped out of the race and 8 percent don’t know or refused to answer.

DeSantis does slightly better in a one-on-one match against Trump but continues to trail 59 percent to 29 percent in that scenario, while 12 percent don’t know or refused.

“Despite historically high approval in the polls, Governor DeSantis losing steam in his home state doesn’t bode well for his national campaign,” said Dr. Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and a professor of political science. “Even if you wipe out the rest of the competition in a head-to-head, Trump leads DeSantis by 20 points.”

See also  Report: College Liberals Mock Trump Over Assassination Attempt

Asked about Trump‘s actions following the 2020 election, 71 percent of Florida Republicans think “he was just exercising his right to contest the election,” while 16 percent think “he went so far that he threatened American democracy.”

Binder weighed in on these findings.

“Given the support for Trump in the upcoming election, it’s not surprising that most of these voters think he was within his rights to contest the election,” said Binder. “Interestingly, the 16 percent who think he threatened democracy tend to favor DeSantis narrowly over Nikki Haley.”

The poll of 788 likely Florida Republican primary voters was taken from Oct. 23 through Nov. 4 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.77 percent.


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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