Now that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has formally declared his intentions for 2024, voters are beginning to learn more about what he plans to bring to the table.
Florida Politics obtained exclusive leaked audio of a recent strategy session for the 2024 presidential candidate, revealing that the governor's pollsters are highly confident that he has what it takes to face intense competition in former President Donald Trump.
"He’s known by as many Primary voters as the President is and he’s better liked," pollster Ryan Tyson said.
"That’s the first problem that Donald Trump, I feel like, has in these Primaries. His negatives are too high. And I will also say this. The No. 1 most effective and efficient driver of Donald Trump’s negatives is Donald Trump."
Tyson recently made his case for DeSantis's future to a group of donors at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami.
The outlet noted:
While outside polling has shown Trump with an increasing lead on DeSantis in numerous early states, Tyson in his comments to donors focused on image polling for both leading GOP candidates. In Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, DeSantis has higher favorability ratings among likely Primary and caucus participants.
"The more that the Governor gets known to the few who don’t know who he is, we’re finding that the only voters who he is losing are left-of-center voters,” Tyson said. “If those are voters in a Republican Primary, I’m more than happy to jettison them," Tyson said.
The pollster went on to tell donors that voters generally view DeSantis as more conservative than Trump, and highlighted how well the Florida governor is doing in key swing states.
Florida Politics added:
Perhaps more surprising, voters give DeSantis very high scores regarding his readiness to serve as President. About 62% of Iowa voters polled feel he’s ready now.
Tyson also explained that as far as the rest of the Republican primary field, it's unlikely that any of the candidates outside of Trump and DeSantis will gain any meaningful traction at this point in time, essentially saying that it's between the two popular Republicans.
"I would offer to you after my field research that voters fundamentally do not buy what those candidates are selling today,” he said. “They just don’t. You can see that in their messaging that they just don’t talk to actual Republican Primary voters in the country today," Tyson said.
"It’s not just about him," Tyson said of DeSantis. "It’s about bringing folks along with the party and building back the party so we can win those state legislative seats, we can win those congressional seats, we can take back the Senate."
Tyson also predicts that voters will know who the GOP nominee will be after Florida's March 19 primary, calling it a "winner takes all" state.
Only time will tell who emerges as the party's nominee, but the fight is just getting started, and it's going to be wild, to say the least.