This Data Shows Why Trump Had to Attack DeSantis

Former President Donald Trump’s insult of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a rally over the weekend has angered some Republicans, but recent 2024 polling made the move all but inevitable.


Trump didn’t seem to weaken DeSantis, but he revealed something about the two men’s relative strengths.


At the rally in Pennsylvania Saturday, Trump referred to DeSantis as “Ron DeSanctimonious” while listing off the results of a poll that shows him with a commanding lead over the potential Republican presidential primary field.

The former president recently posted a clip to his Truth Social platform of TV host Megyn Kelly saying DeSantis has no shot of winning the 2024 Republican presidential nomination over Trump.


Trump likely views DeSantis, whose Trumpian responses to culture war issues and the media have made him a MAGA favorite, as the biggest obstacle to locking down the GOP presidential nomination.

  • And polling data support that view.

A BIG SURGE: In February of 2021, DeSantis was polling at only 7% in the Republican presidential primary, according to a survey conducted by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates.

LET’S SEE THE STATE-TO-STATE NUMBERS: While Trump still holds a significant, though narrowing, lead over DeSantis in national GOP presidential primary polls, surveys in a number of individual states tell a different story.

  • An Echelon Insights survey released last week found 52% of Georgia voters favored DeSantis as the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee, compared to only 36% for Trump.
  • A Data for Progress survey of Florida GOP primary voters released Sunday showed DeSantis  beating out the former president by two percentage points, 44%-42%.
  • 39% of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire back DeSantis, compared to 37% for Trump, according to a University of New Hampshire Granite State poll released in June.

THE FUTURE OF THE GOP: In an ABC News/Ipsos poll released last month, 72% of registered Republicans said DeSantis should have a great or good deal of influence in the future direction of the party, whereas only 64% of respondents said the same about Trump.


DeSantis was not invited to a rally held by Trump in Miami on Sunday, Fox News reported.

  • “You’re going to reelect the wonderful, the great friend of mine Marco Rubio to the United States Senate and you are going to reelect Ron DeSantis as your governor,” Trump told the crowd at the Miami-Dade County fairgrounds.