Trump Crushes DeSantis Among Republicans In Florida County That Was Key To The Gov’s Reelection Bid: POLL

(Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Former President Donald Trump trounced Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a straw poll of Republicans in Miami-Dade County, an area that was essential to the governor’s reelection bid, Politico reported Thursday.

Out of 65 party members who were surveyed on Wednesday evening, 53 supported Trump compared to only five who backed DeSantis, according to Politico. The disparity between the two Republicans is significant, as DeSantis was the first Republican in two decades to flip the historically blue county red in 2022 when the governor won another term by nearly 20 points.

“[Trump] is charismatic and he knows how this game works in terms of loyalty and networking,” Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kevin Cabrera, who voted for the former president in the survey, told Politico, adding that the poll “proves Miami-Dade County is Trump country.”

Of the remaining votes cast, three went to former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and one went to conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, according to the outlet. Two Republicans wrote down names of those not running for president — GOP Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rene Garcia — and another ballot was left blank.

Another Republican polled, granted anonymity to speak candidly on DeSantis’ standing in the state, argued that the governor “has lost support.” (RELATED: ‘It’s Coming’: Florida GOP Elected Officials To Turn On DeSantis, Endorse Trump: REPORT)

“He and many of them have tried to move to the right of Trump. That’s not possible. Trump reflects the right. He is the standard,” the Republican told Politico.

Republican state Rep. Alina Garcia, who has endorsed Trump for president and was present during the meeting, argued that DeSantis remains popular in the Florida, but for his state-level position.

“Gov. DeSantis has been a very good governor,” Garcia told Politico. “But we want him for governor. Right now, we want President Trump for president, and it is what it is.”

BETTENDORF, IOWA - DECEMBER 18: Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks to guests during the Scott County Fireside Chat at the Tanglewood Hills Pavilion on December 18, 2023 in Bettendorf, Iowa. Iowa Republicans will be the first to select their party's nomination for the 2024 presidential race when they go to caucus on January 15, 2024. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

BETTENDORF, IOWA – DECEMBER 18: Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks to guests during the Scott County Fireside Chat at the Tanglewood Hills Pavilion. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The poll’s results come after Trump’s allies effectively killed a loyalty pledge brought forward by the state Republican Party required to be signed to appear on Florida’s primary ballot. This was seen as another blow to DeSantis, as he backed the loyalty pledge that mirrored the Republican National Committee’s language to support the eventual party nominee.

While DeSantis racked up the support from 99 state legislators in Florida early on, including Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner, he has lost some of the endorsements to Trump. The former president also far out-paces DeSantis on endorsements from Florida Congress members.

The RealClearPolitics average for a 2024 Florida Republican primary, based on the most recent polling, indicates Trump has a 40-point lead over DeSantis.

Trump’s campaign, DeSantis’ campaign and the Miami-Dade Republican Party did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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