Though former President Donald Trump has long held a substantial lead over Republican primary rival Ron DeSantis, the margin of that lead has grown nationally by a staggering 20 points since July, as Breitbart reports.
The bad news for the Florida governor came by way of a Marquette University poll released last week which revealed the true extent to which Trump's advantage has expanded in recent months.
According to the survey, 56% of respondents classified as registered Republicans and those identifying as Republican-leaning independents favor Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.
DeSantis, for his part, garnered just 12% support from that same group of voters.
Perhaps most significant to the former president's already impressive prospects is the fact that the result represents a 10-point increase in support since the July iteration of the Marquette poll and a decrease of 10 points for DeSantis.
Adding to DeSantis' bad week in terms of poll numbers, The Hill reported that a recent Winthrop University survey revealed that roughly half of all South Carolina Republicans support Trump for the GOP nod, with second place going not to the Florida governor, but to former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who also served as the Palmetto state's chief executive.
Trump took the support of slightly more than 50% of all Republican poll participants and 47.5% of Republican-leaning independent voters, while Haley garnered the support of 16.6% of Republicans and 18.5% of Republican-leaning independents.
DeSantis took third place, bringing in 12.1% from each of the aforementioned voter categories.
Scott Huffmon, director of Winthrop's polling outfit, explained, “We continue to see Trump's dominance for the nomination in South Carolina. While a distant second, support for Nikki Haley has grown.”
Huffmon added, “Haley's rise coincides with the continued slide of Ron DeSantis with his drop in national polls being mirrored in South Carolina.”
Faced with what appear to be increasingly dire poll results, DeSantis continues to argue that current numbers are not an accurate reflection of the true state of the race, as Fox News reports.
During a recent campaign stop, DeSantis told assembled journalists of recent polling, “I don't think any of it matters. You've got to put yourself in a position to have the type of infrastructure needed to do well when the voting starts.”
“But what's going to happen is none of the polls are going to matter when people start voting. That's what's going to determine everything,” DeSantis added.
Speaking to Fox News Digital, DeSantis optimistically mused, “I think at the end of the day, a majority of people have not made a decision. So, if you're polling someone, and you push them, well if they're kind of on the fence and they know Trump more than anyone, they're more likely to do that,” but whether his hypothesis is borne out once voters reach the ballot box, only time will tell.
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