DeSantis support crashes ahead of first GOP primary debate

 August 24, 2023

Ahead of the first GOP primary debate, held on Wednesday evening in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis received more bad news concerning his 2024 presidential ambitions.

While DeSantis kicked off his presidential campaign with a bang, the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll revealed that not only is his support cratering, but it's plummeting at a rapid clip with Republican voters.

The outlet noted:

The survey of 1,665 U.S. adults, which was conducted from Aug. 17 to 21, shows that DeSantis’s support among potential GOP primary voters has fallen farther — and faster — over the last few weeks than ever before, plummeting from his previous low of 23% in mid-July to just 12% today.

DeSantis was at his strongest prior to his official candidacy announcement. His official launch was rocky -- or "glitchy," as Yahoo News described it -- but nobody in the campaign could have expected him to fall so fast, and so hard.

As recently as February of this year, DeSantis looked like a formidable opponent to former President Donald Trump, even besting him in some of the hypothetical matchup polls.

But that support began to fall fast, which led to a desperation move of "relaunching" his campaign, a "2.0" version if you will.

That came with mass staff firings, and ultimately the decision to replace his campaign manager. That was all before Wednesday night's debate, where DeSantis, according to most observers, didn't quite have the breakout night that his campaign desperately needed.

DeSantis managed to grab some praise for what some called a "surprisingly" good performance on many of the issues, but whether or not it was enough to cement his previously solid second-place standing is yet to be seen.

Going into the first debate, a growing number of polls showed billionaire, anti-woke businessman Vivek Ramaswamy claiming the second-place position, knocking DeSantis' campaign down a few notches.

Yahoo News added:

For the first time, more Republican and Republican-leaning voters say they’re “not sure” whom they would support if their state’s primary were held today (14%) than say they would support DeSantis.

The governor responded to the mixed reviews regarding his first debate performance.

"The thing about the debate is, you know, nobody hit me so I wasn’t gonna get involved in that scrum. I know those guys were going back and forth. What I did with 100% of my time was to speak directly to the American people about our vision to reverse the country’s decline, what specifically we need to do, and most importantly what I’ve already done to show that I can do this nationally," DeSantis said.

He added: "Of anyone on the stage, I’m the only guy that’s actually delivered on all the things that our voters care about."