In 4 Months, Trump Has Flipped the Race

Former president leads DeSantis by 13 points in 'WSJ' poll; a reversal from April
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2023 8:05 AM CDT
In 4 Months, Trump Has Flipped the Race
Former President Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association Convention in Indianapolis, Friday, April 14, 2023.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Back in December, fresh off his easy reelection win, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis led Donald Trump by 14 points in a Wall Street Journal poll of likely Republican candidates for president. What a difference four months has made. Trump now leads DeSantis by 13 points in the newspaper's latest poll. Trump had 51% and DeSantis 38%, followed by Nikki Haley at 5% and Sen. Tim Scott at 3%. Everybody else, including Mike Pence, registered at 2% or lower. Unlike Trump, DeSantis has yet to formally enter the race, but the Journal notes he has hit something of a "rough patch" on the national stage as he edges toward an expected official entry.

DeSantis, for example, caught flak from both Republicans and Democrats after he criticized US aid to Ukraine, and backtracked from his comments. Trump, meanwhile, has been steadily attacking his presumed rival, while DeSantis largely has refrained from returning fire. The poll does have some good news for the governor, however: 84% view him favorably, ahead of Trump's 78%, and 41% think he would have a better chance of beating President Biden, ahead of the 31% who think so of Trump.

Meanwhile, the Hill reports on a separate poll from Harvard CAPS/Harris that also shows the race moving in Trump's favor—though by a lesser degree. The poll has Trump at 55% and DeSantis at 20%. Last month, Trump led 50% to 24%. Pence fares better in this one, coming in at 7% for third place, with nobody else cracking 5%. (Trump appears to be seeing a surge in donations in the wake of his indictment in New York.)

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