Within the churning ghoulash of Republican self promotion power-jockeying, there's little doubt that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is in prime position to fill the Trump-shaped void left by the former president who — despite insinuation to the contrary — seems perfectly content to lounge around his various estates, drinking pop and having his ass smooched by various tryhards and wannabes. But if, as is widely expected, DeSantis does take time off from actively harming his Floridian constituents to run for president himself in 2024, it seems he's going to quickly run into a major problem: the very people who elected him to the governor's mansion in the first place.
According to a just-released Quinnipiac University poll, nearly 60% of his home state voters are actively against DeSantis running for president in the next election — a significant rebuke for a man elected into office by the thinnest of possible margins just two years earlier.
By a margin of 59% to 35%, Floridians rejected a possible DeSantis run, with the overwhelming majority of Democrats — 96% — coming out against a DeSantis campaign. Among Republicans, DeSantis fared slightly better, with 67% of GOP voters saying they'd like him to run, compared to nearly 25% who wouldn't. Crucially, independents oppose a potential DeSantis run by a nearly 2-to-1 margin — the sort of headwinds which bode ill in a state where independents often have the final word in presidential races.
When it comes to DeSantis's tenure as governor during the ongoing COVID-19 surge in the Sunshine State, just over half of Florida voters disapprove of his handling of the pandemic. His overall job performance is fairly evenly split between 47% approval and 45% who are unhappy with his work so far.
Before DeSantis (almost certainly) runs for the White House in 2024, he faces a re-election bid this coming year, during which he'll have to justify to his constituents why he's chosen to stand against the few measures shown to significantly mitigate the surging Delta variant of coronavirus. This week, Florida hit a new record in COVID cases, averaging 227 deaths per day, making it the leading state for pandemic fatalities in the nation. Given the razor-thin margin of victory DeSantis enjoyed when he was first elected governor, it's not hard to imagine that the loss of any voters — whether at the polls, or in the hospital — could be enough to end his higher political aspirations before they even get off the ground.