Ron DeSantis, Florida governor, narrowly beat the former president Donald Trump Neighborhood Research and Media released Monday’s poll of likely Iowa Caucus-goers.
Thirty-two per cent of the 393 respondents named DeSantis their top choice. Only 30 percent chose Trump. The margin for error is +/-5. According to polls by the same firm, Trump held a 21 point advantage over DeSantis in June, and a 44 point advantage last November.
An analysis of the DataNeighborhood Research’s Rick Shaftan argued that “with support barely half what it was a year ago in a time when DeSantis’s vote has nearly tripled, Trump becomes a severe underdog in the race.”
DeSantis is leading Trump in several state-level polls since the 2022 midterm elections. Another survey Club for Growth Action sponsored Iowa Republicans, which showed DeSantis leading by eleven points. Club for Growth polls also show that DeSantis is preferred in Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire. According to CWS Research, he also leads in Texas.
The picture is less clear at the national level. In a YouGov poll, Trump outperformed DeSantis seven points. However other polls from Emerson University and Harris Insights and Analytics indicate that Trump still holds a commanding advantage.
Trump has been seen as increasingly vulnerable since many of the candidates he championed in the midterms — including Kari Lake, Blake Masters, Doug Mastriano, Mehmet Oz, and Joe Kent — fell short against their Democratic opponents two weeks ago. DeSantis, however, won a reelection victory by 20 points.
The former president announced that he would once again seek the Republican nomination last week, and has launched preemptive attacks against his prospective rival, who he’s dubbed “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
DeSantis is not yet a candidate, but it is widely believed that he has begun to prepare for a campaign.