Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign is hitting a rough patch as he falls to third place in the latest national poll of GOP voters. The survey, conducted by GOP pollster Cygnal, reveals that businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has surpassed DeSantis, securing 11 percent of support compared to DeSantis’s 10 percent. While both candidates lag far behind former President Donald Trump, who commands a staggering 53 percent, this shift reflects the growing pessimism of a subset of GOP voters who are searching for an alternative.
Many GOP voters who actually like Gov. DeSantis, are in agreement that it's not his time. He would have benefitted more from working with Trump rather than against him.
JUST IN: DeSantis Officially Falls Behind Vivek In New National Poll Of GOP Voters https://t.co/VdqeI0hqFy
— Paige (@Paige17R) August 11, 2023
Since entering the race in February, Ramaswamy has positioned himself as a dark horse candidate ready to outshine his opponents. He has been relentless in his campaign efforts, even taking on protestors. This display of determination has resonated with GOP voters who are looking for someone other than Trump or DeSantis. Furthermore, recent blunders by DeSantis, such as a glitch-ridden online rollout and the firing of his campaign manager and a third of his staff, have added validity to Ramaswamy’s claim that he is a worthy replacement should Republicans have a change of heart about Trump.
One key to Ramaswamy’s rising popularity has been his unwavering support for the former president. Trump’s loyal base has eagerly embraced this stance as they seek loyalty in a crowded field of GOP contenders. When Trump faced federal indictments, Ramaswamy promised to pardon him if elected and even filed a Freedom of Information Act request accusing special counsel Jack Smith of politicizing the cases. This kind of steadfast defense has won over many Trump supporters.
On the other hand, DeSantis has struggled to carve out a clear image for himself in the race without risking alienating Trump’s loyal base. His attempt to distance himself from Trump’s claims of election fraud by stating that Trump lost the 2020 election drew criticism from GOP voters who firmly believe that the former president was unfairly denied a second term. Even Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News and once a supporter of DeSantis as an alternative to Trump, seems to be losing faith in the governor’s prospects as his national and local poll numbers continue to plummet.
This situation presents an opportunity for Ramaswamy to further elevate his profile during the Republican National Committee’s upcoming debate in Milwaukee. With DeSantis’s decline, Ramaswamy has ample space to showcase himself as a compelling alternative to both Trump and the faltering governor. It remains to be seen if Ramaswamy’s rise will continue, but the shifting dynamics of the GOP race illustrate that there are still voters seeking alternative options to the current frontrunners.