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Ron DeSantis has had a few rough months, and May is no exception

DeSantis remains a rather distant second and Trump's lead has only increased in recent weeks.

May 18, 2023 1:51am

Updated: May 18, 2023 1:51am

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears poised to end speculation about whether he'll join the 2024 presidential election. But if he joins the GOP nomination race, he’ll do so limping after a tough stretch in which he has dropped in polls and backed some losing candidates.

DeSantis last month dismissed news reports about a mid-spring foray, telling reporters, "If anyone's telling you that somehow they know this or they know that, that's just inaccurate because there's not been any decisions made."

However, earlier this month he responded to such questions by saying: "What happens in the future? We'll get on that relatively soon. You either gotta put or shut up on that as well."

On May 1, Trump claimed 52.1% support to DeSantis' 22.9%, in the RealClearPolitics polling average.

However, his political fortune failed to improve, as some expected, after Trump lost in the civil rape case brought against him by writer E. Jean Carroll.

In a Morning Consult poll conducted from May 12-14, following the May 8 verdict, Trump captured 61% of the potential Republican primary vote, while DeSantis had 18%.

The same survey the day of the verdict showed DeSantis at 19%, compared to 59% for Trump.

More bad news came for DeSantis in a Florida Atlantic University survey published at about the same time. It showed 59% of registered Republicans picked Trump, compared to 31% for DeSantis, meaning Trump had nearly twice as much support as the Florida governor in his home state


The survey also came about just six months after DeSantis won reelection by roughly 19 percentage points over Democrat gubernatorial challenger Charlie Crist.

Polling data is not DeSantis's only cause for worry.

On Tuesday night, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron won the state's Republican gubernatorial primary over DeSantis-backed former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft .

Craft placed third behind state Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.

Trump had backed Cameron and his campaign touted the endorsement after the victory.

"President Trump is a winner, and his endorsement continues to be the single most powerful endorsement in political history," said campaifgn spokesman Steven Cheung.

Also on Tuesday night, Democrat Donna Deegan pull off an upset win in the Jacksonville, Fla., mayoral race over DeSantis-backed Republican candidate Daniel Davis.

The city has had a Republican mayor since 2015.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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