- Gov. Ron DeSantis trails Vivek Ramaswamy in a recent nationwide Republican primary poll by Kaplan Strategies, marking his first time outside the usual second-place slot.
- Donald Trump maintains a commanding lead with 48 percent support; Ramaswamy secures second place with 11 percent, surpassing DeSantis at 10 percent.
- DeSantis’ shift is attributed to MAGA support loss to Ramaswamy and a competitive dynamic with Pence for mainstream conservative endorsement, accompanied by campaign strategy changes and staff shifts.
In a recent nationwide poll of Republican primary voters conducted by Kaplan Strategies and released on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis finds himself trailing fellow candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. The poll marks a significant shift as it’s the first mainstream poll positioning the Florida governor outside of his usual second-place slot.
While Former President and longstanding party frontrunner Donald Trump maintains a commanding lead with 48 percent support from surveyed Republicans, attention is drawn to the reshuffling of positions beneath him. Ramaswamy has surged to second place with 11 percent support, surpassing DeSantis, who now holds third place with 10 percent of the backing.
As primary season approaches, DeSantis’ campaign is engaging in an all-out push for Iowa — the first primary state — in an attempt to recoup lost support. A traditionally crucial battleground for testing candidate viability, historical trends underline that Iowa victories don’t necessarily translate into overall success, as past victors over the past 15 years have demonstrated.
“Historical precedent underscores that an Iowa victory doesn’t guarantee overall success, as evidenced by past victors like Pete Buttigieg, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum, who ultimately faced defeat over the past 15 years,” reads the polling report. “The evolving narrative highlights DeSantis losing MAGA support to Ramaswamy and mainstream conservative backing to Pence.”
DeSantis’ move to third place can be attributed to various elements, per Kaplan, including a loss of MAGA support to Ramaswamy and a competitive dynamic with Former Vice President Mike Pence — who received 9 percent of the poll’s voter share — for mainstream conservative endorsement.
The positional drop comes less than a week after DeSantis removed Generra Peck, who led the governor’s gubernatorial reelection campaign, from her role as national Campaign Manager.
As confirmed by the campaign to The Capitolist, Peck will transition into a strategist role within the operation. The move was made after a series of failed ‘resets’ undertaken by the campaign that sought to refocus core messaging toward a comparison between Florida and the national economic landscape. Amidst the faltering rhetorical shift, DeSantis’ campaign laid off nearly a third of its staff.