Two-thirds of Floridians back Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House in 2024. A recent poll of residents of the Sunshine State revealed that 69% of Republican voters intend to back the former President next year. Trump’s nearest competitor in the Republican nomination race is the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, who was convincingly re-elected to the Governor’s mansion last November.
The two Republicans have engaged in a war of words in recent months, with Trump making no secret of his view of DeSantis. The former President calls the Florida Governor “Ron DeSantimonious” and accuses him of betrayal. He cites the help and endorsements he gave to Mr. DeSantis in his gubernatorial campaign. He says it is disloyal for DeSantis to repay this help by challenging him for the GOP nomination.
Trump also called DeSantis “ignorant” when the Floridian labeled Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.” Trump argues that Russia needs to be treated with respect if the war in Ukraine is to be brought to an end.
DeSantis was strongly criticized for his views on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, which he initially called a “territorial dispute.” He was challenged on Twitter by Ukraine’s Foreign Minister to visit the war-torn country. “We are sure that as a former military officer deployed to a combat zone, Governor DeSantis knows the difference between a ‘dispute’ and war,” Oleg Nikolenko said.
Donald Trump has maintained a commanding lead over DeSantis in voter polls, which has grown in recent weeks. Immediately after the former President’s town hall interview with CNN in April, his lead rose to its highest to date. A Morning Consult poll after the interview saw Mr. Trump on 61%, compared with only 18% for DeSantis.
The Floridian remains in second place and far ahead of other contenders, however. Nikki Haley is hovering around 6%, with Vivek Ramaswamy and Mike Pence polling at 5% or lower. DeSantis has yet to formally declare his intentions for 2024.