by Frank Holmes, reporter
No one came out of the 2022 midterms stronger than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — and new polls released just before Thanksgiving show he could ride his one-state red wave all the way to the White House.
A shocking new poll shows not only how popular DeSantis is in the swing state of Florida — a must-win for any Republican presidential candidate — but in major states that would pave his road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
DeSantis is so popular that, according to these polls, he would defeat President Donald Trump in four important contests… by double digits.
“Ron DeSantis leads Donald Trump by 11 points in the Iowa Republican caucus,” according to a memo from WPA Intelligence, released the Monday after the midterms. “DeSantis has gained a 15-point lead in a head-to-head match-up” against Trump “in the New Hampshire Republican primary.”
Those findings echoed like a political earthquake, because those two localities are traditionally the first two states on the 2024 presidential calendar.
The polls show DeSantis beating Trump 48 percent to 37 percent in Iowa; 52 percent to 37 percent in New Hampshire. Winning both of the opening contests makes a candidate very hard, but not impossible, to beat for the presidential nomination.
It also shows how completely the political fortunes have turned against Donald Trump. In August, Trump led DeSantis in Iowa by 15 percentage points, and they were dead even in New Hampshire.
What a difference an election makes.
The consequences stretched from the Midwest and Northeast to the Deep Red South. DeSantis was already leading Trump in Florida, where’s he’s governor, and in neighboring Georgia, where he’s often on local television—but he expanded those leads even further.
In August, DeSantis only held a seven-point lead over Donald Trump in his state’s presidential primary. Last week, that widened to 26 points—even bigger than the margin he defeated Charlie Crist in his tidal wave reelection.
In Georgia, DeSantis had been favored by six percent more voters than the 45th president in August; now, he leads Trump 55 percent to 35 percent.
Only in Iowa could Trump even make up the deficit if all the undecided voters broke in his favor. In every other state DeSantis would beat Trump walking away.
The polls are important for another reason: Trump lost Georgia in 2020 by a relative handful of votes. Carrying the increasingly purple Peach state will be important if the GOP hopes to return to power after only four years of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the various advisors running things behind the scenes.
This memo came from the Club for Growth, an economics-focused conservative organization that has clashed with Trump recently.
As The Horn News reported, in June the Club for Growth showed Trump ahead in every one of those states except Georgia.
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The group, which aligns with the business wing of the GOP, had a rocky relationship with Trump during the 2016 primaries but made peace and advised him during his term in office.
But the two butted heads in Ohio, when Trump picked populist J.D. Vance over the slightly more traditionally conservative Josh Mandel.
Things got so heated that Trump sent a text to the group telling it to “go f*** yourself.”
The group wasted no time after the midterms piling on the former president, who had a less than triumphant night all around.
“Republicans need to be united behind a strong candidate and a platform that shows voters real solutions to beat Biden and the Democrats in 2024,” said Club for Growth president David McIntosh. “Our polling shows that Republican primary voters recognize Trump’s insults against Republicans as hollow and counterproductive, and it’s taking a significant toll on his support.”
The Club may hate The Donald, but that’s not the only poll that has DeSantis pulling ahead in the 2024 presidential sweepstakes.
In June, a poll showed DeSantis two points ahead of Trump in New Hampshire.
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But then Trump has cited poll figures showing his support dwarfing that of his governor. And a new CAPS-Harris poll released Monday shows DeSantis’ support surging 11 points—but he’s still an incredible 16 points behind Donald Trump.
While DeSantis is obviously tempted to consider throwing his hat in the ring, and hasn’t ruled anything out yet, he hasn’t made up his mind publicly. When asked, he tells reporters to “chill out” and let voters finish casting their ballots in the 2022 midterm races first.
Still, if anyone could ruin Donald Trump’s presidential run, DeSantis is the man to watch.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”