DeSantis Falls To Tie With Haley At 8%

A recent poll spells potential trouble for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the Republican presidential primary race. A McLaughlin and Associates survey of 449 likely voters places DeSantis at 8%, tying him with former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and trailing President Donald Trump by a whopping 47 percentage points.

The survey, conducted from October 22 to October 26, indicates that the field is rapidly closing in on DeSantis, with Haley now a direct competitor for the position of Trump alternative in the race. Two other candidates, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Vice President Mike Pence (who formally suspended his campaign on Saturday), closely followed DeSantis and Haley, with 7% and 6% support in the poll, respectively.

This latest poll is a stark contrast to DeSantis’s standing in June when he boasted a much healthier 19% support. In just four months, DeSantis has seen a near 60% drop in his stated support. A hypothetical two-way race between DeSantis and Trump further demonstrates the former president’s dominance, with 73% of respondents favoring Trump and only 27% backing DeSantis.

Despite the discouraging numbers, there are some demographic cohorts where DeSantis fares well. In a two-way race with Trump, 54% of Republican primary voters who approve of Joe Biden say they would pick DeSantis. He also receives strong support from GOP primary voters who intend to vote for the incumbent in the November election, garnering 81% of that group. Additionally, among Democrats who are likely to vote in open Republican primaries, 85% favor DeSantis.

Trump, on the other hand, has not been shy about going on the offensive against his potential opponents. In a Saturday campaign event in Nevada, Trump referred to DeSantis as having “dropped like a falling bird, badly injured from the sky” and Haley as “Bird Brain,” claiming she should not run against him.

It remains to be seen how these poll numbers will affect the DeSantis campaign. With the primary race heating up and Trump commanding a solid lead, DeSantis has his work cut out if he hopes to remain competitive.