Donald Trump is increasing the distance between himself and Ron DeSantis in a clash in the Republican primary, which is still hypothetical given that the Florida governor has yet to formalize his candidacy for the White House. According to a survey conducted by the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and the Harris Poll, the former president received 50% of the vote, compared to 24% for the Republican governor. Compared to last February, Trump sees his lead over DeSantis grow by four points.
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The others are further afield, like Mike Pence, who has yet to formalize his entry onto the field, with 7% and Nikki Haley, the only one who is already officially participating, with 5%. The poll comes after Trump has galvanized his base in recent days over his alleged imminent arrest by a Manhattan attorney. And this past Saturday, he held his first actual campaign rally in Waco, with images of the assault on Congress flashing across the screens and a music video showing him with “political prisoners” on January 6th.
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So far, DeSantis’ approach has been very different and he’s running a kind of shadow campaign, focusing on promoting his book in states where the first rounds of primaries will be held. And on that front specifically, there’s good news for the governor because, according to the polls cited by Axios, DeSantis holds an eight-point lead in Iowa and is locked in a showdown with Trump in New Hampshire, the first of two states. Where the vote will take place. “If national polls give Trump the lead by a large margin, but these polls show DeSantis does much better in states where voting is early and where voters are more attentive,” is the site’s analysis of the primaries.
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