Picking a fight with Florida's Governor?
On November 5, the former one-term Republican President Donald Trump arrived for a rally in Pennsylvania, and calmly ripped-into his competitors, while claiming that 71% of a recent poll favored him as the Republican candidate for the White House in 2024.
Most heavily mocked perhaps, was Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis, who Trump chose to give the nickname "Ron DeSanctimonious", for having drawn just 10% in the same poll.
The source of the statistic cited by Trump is unclear, but it seems to fly in the face of many other more-credible polls reported this year, which suggest DeSantis as the most popular candidate of the two.
DeSantis - 'Trump 2.0'
In February this year, a poll carried out by the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab, showed DeSantis was the preferred nominee of 44% of survey respondents compared to just 41% who favored Trump. The study considered the opinion of 259 Republican voters and showed a reasonably slim, but statistically relevant majority for Florida's Governor, who was once hailed as 'Trump 2.0'.
Notably, DeSantis was the preferred candidate for 51% of men, but only 37% of women in the survey.
DeSantis growing in popularity across the U.S.
More recently, a poll carried out by USA Today and Suffolk University in September suggested that in a hypothetical Presidential Primary election, Ron DeSantis would claim 48% of the vote with former president Donald Trump receiving just 40%.
It's the latest of a succession of polls that have shown DeSantis growing in popularity and increasing his margin over the one-term president. Multiple polls carried out at Republican conferences in recent months - both in Florida and out of state - have shown DeSantis gaining in popularity and increasing his margin over Trump.
A growing rift between Trump and DeSantis
While Trump likes to take credit for a lot of things, he's particularly convinced that it was his endorsement that won DeSantis the role of Florida's Governor. But there have been signs of a growing separation between the two Republicans, most recently after it emerged that Ron DeSantis wasn't taking part in a Trump Rally scheduled for November 6.
While neither has formally declared an interest in the 2024 presidential election, and DeSantis looks to have the gubernatorial mid-term election all sewn-up, there's still plenty of time for both to throw their hats in the ring for the White House. What seems certain, is that a joint campaign with DeSantis as Trump's running mate is becoming less and less likely.
Would you prefer Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis or someone else entirely, as the Republican candidate for President in 2024? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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