DeSantis Leads Trump in Early Republican Presidential Race

As the 2024 presidential election heats up, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has emerged as the early frontrunner for the Republican nomination. According to a survey of registered Republican voters, DeSantis has a significant lead over former President Donald Trump, who garnered 27% of the electorate.[0] Meanwhile, Nikki Haley trailed behind with just 4%, and Liz Cheney and Mike Pence received 3% and 2%, respectively.[1] In a head-to-head contest between DeSantis and Trump, the governor leads by a 59%-28% margin.

DeSantis has used an appearance at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California to channel the same conservative anger at what he claims is a left-wing “woke” elite takeover of politics, education, Covid-19 public health policy and big business.[2] He appears to be building a conservative coalition that could appeal to Republicans who have soured on Trump after his record of two impeachments, a US Capitol insurrection and a disastrous intervention in the 2022 midterm elections, while also peeling away some Trump supporters who still love their champion but doubt that he has the discipline and appeal needed to win a national election again.[3]

Trump, however, showed up at the Conservative Political Action Conference to serve up his familiar brew of fury, falsehoods and dishonest braggadocio.[2] He billed himself as the only man who could save the planet from World War III, girding his adoring supporters for their “final battle” against communists, globalists and the “Deep State.”[2]

DeSantis has a much more disciplined public persona than Trump, but his rhetoric about a “woke mind virus” carries the implication that anyone who does not share his views is, by definition, a left-wing extremist.[3] He would be promising Americans one of the most right-wing presidencies of modern history.[4]

Other possible contenders, such as former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and ex-secretary of state Mike Pompeo, have also launched veiled attacks on Trump at CPAC. It remains to be seen how their campaigns will develop, and whether they will be able to challenge DeSantis and Trump in the race for the Republican nomination.

0. “Virginia Republican poll shows Ron DeSantis with the edge over Donald Trump” Florida Politics, 6 Mar. 2023,

1. “UNF Poll: DeSantis Ahead in Florida for Republican Presidential Primary” WQCS, 9 Mar. 2023,

2. “Trump challenged in 2024 presidential race – World – Al-Ahram Weekly” Ahram Online, 7 Mar. 2023,

3. “Trump, DeSantis stake out sharpest preview yet of possible 2024 showdown” CBS Miami, 7 Mar. 2023,

4. “Trump and DeSantis stake out sharpest preview yet of possible 2024 showdown” WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale, 6 Mar. 2023,

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