Incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis is already the clear favorite among Republican voters in the state of Florida, resoundingly defeating both of the state’s senators in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, according to Politico.
The poll comes from GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio, which shows DeSantis with a landslide 52-point lead over Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. In the three-way showdown for the 2024 presidential nomination, DeSantis scores 64 percent of Republican voters in Florida, while Rubio gets 12 percent, and Scott receives only 10 percent. This is a significant improvement for DeSantis from July, where a similar poll depicted him holding a lead over Rubio of just 11 percent.
The poll also asked Republican voters which of the three they consider to be the most loyal supporter of President Donald Trump. DeSantis again wins this question in a landslide with 67 percent, while only 9 percent chose Scott and 7 percent went with Rubio.
All three are seen as potential candidates in 2024, though all of them have avoided directly answering questions about any potential presidential ambitions. DeSantis and Scott were both narrowly elected to their respective positions in the 2018 midterms, while Rubio infamously lost Florida’s presidential primary to then-candidate Donald Trump by 18 points in 2016, although he did go on to win re-election to the Senate that same year.
Florida, previously seen as a tightly-contested swing state, has been gradually shifting into a conservative stronghold in recent years. Most noticeably, the state that is normally won by roughly one or two percentage points in every recent presidential election went for President Trump by four points in 2020, producing the largest margin of victory in the state for any presidential candidate since 2004.
Under DeSantis’s leadership, Florida has maintained some of the most relaxed coronavirus-related safety measures, with DeSantis opting to keep the state’s economy open for business rather than shutting down. Since the questionable 2020 election, President Trump has been residing at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, after moving his state of residence from New York to Florida. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) will be hosted in Orlando for the first time ever, instead of its usual location in National Harbor, Maryland. Trump, DeSantis, and Scott will all be speaking at the event.