OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
GOP presidential contender Ron DeSantis continues having difficulty catching on with voters, falling to third place behind a dark horse candidate in an early primary state.
The Ohio survey, taken by Ohio Northern University, found former President Donald Trump at the top, with more than 64 percent, while entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy came in second at 11.8 percent, followed by the Florida governor at 8.7 percent.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence garnered 6.4 percent support, while former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley received 2.7 percent. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stood at 1.8 percent support, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson secured 0.8 percent support, the survey found.
“The survey of 675 Ohio residents, had a margin of error of 3.7 percent. Participants self-identified if they planned to vote in the GOP primary with 44 percent saying they planned to do so,” The Western Journal reported.
Since 2000, Republican presidential primaries in Ohio have typically been won by the candidate who eventually becomes the party’s nominee. The only exception was in 2016 when former Ohio Gov. John Kasich ran for president and emerged victorious in his home state primary, the outlet noted.
In 2000, then-GOP candidate George W. Bush won the Ohio GOP primary and repeated that victory in 2004 as an unopposed incumbent. The late Sen. John McCain of Arizona emerged as the winner of the 2008 Ohio contest, while current Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah claimed victory in the 2012 primary. In 2020, as an incumbent, Trump won the Ohio primary.
The Washington Post’s Phillip Bump noted earlier this month that a string of third-place finishes for the Florida governor will mean “DeSantis is just another candidate.”
“This isn’t just bad for DeSantis in that he hasn’t overtaken Trump. It’s bad for him in that this suggests a downward path: from clear second-place candidate to member of the second tier. And for the candidate long pitched as the viable non-Trump candidate, being less viable is a big problem,” he wrote.
2024 Ohio Republican Primary:
Ohio Northern University, 7/17-26https://t.co/sn585Hp39P
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) July 28, 2023
National Review editor Rich Lowry, writing in POLITICO, echoed a similar theme, noting that DeSantis has gone from being a very popular and highly effective Sunshine State governor to a presidential candidate having difficulty gaining any traction.
Two large polls with Pres Trump excluded. Vivek Ramaswamy leading Ron DeSantis in both. pic.twitter.com/ADFCOWLy6v
— Top Secret (@ICU1010) July 21, 2023
“In Florida, DeSantis had a pragmatic side. He emphasized protecting and cleaning up Florida’s waters. He paid teachers more. Both of these initiatives showed up in that reelection ad. He was effective at handling the response to Hurricane Ian. In the beginning, his different posture on Covid was a data-driven approach based on what seemed likely to work,” he wrote.
“It only hardened into a more of an ideological war against ‘Faucism’ over time,” Lowry added.
“The nuts-and-bolts of governing is impossible to replicate on the national stage (except by running a competent campaign). Needless to say, there isn’t going to be an opportunity to handle the state-level response to a, say, blizzard in Iowa or flood in New Hampshire,” he wrote.
Lowry added that “the governor, who already talks about how quickly he repaired a causeway after Ian, should talk more about how effective he’s been, and not just in fighting ‘woke.'”
Others, however, believe polling for DeSantis may be intentionally suppressed as they say it was for Trump in 2015, who eventually — and resoundingly — became the GOP nominee over supposedly more favored candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Don’t let the suppression polls dishearten you. They tried the same tactic on Trump voters in 2016. Keep knocking on doors, keep hanging signs. Keep fighting for DeSantis. And most importantly, turn out and vote and send orange man can’t get right to a permanent retirement pic.twitter.com/7PAZ6WYCbJ
— Bryan Ates🇺🇸 (@atesbryan63) July 28, 2023