- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 19, 2023

Support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis becoming the Republican Party’s presidential nominee is waning, according to a new poll.

Approval for Mr. DeSantis slipped by 5 percentage points compared to former President Donald Trump in the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll released exclusively to The Hill on Friday. 

Mr. DeSantis now trails Mr. Trump — 23% to 46%. He previously trailed Mr. Trump by 20 percentage points in January’s poll.

Mr. Trump also comes out on top in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup with Mr. DeSantis, 56% to 44%, according to the latest poll.

Another sign that Mr. DeSantis is losing ground with voters emerges when the former president is removed from the GOP’s potential primary field. The poll found that 39% of Republican voters would support Mr. DeSantis for the Republican nomination if Mr. Trump wasn’t on the ballot — a 10-point drop from January’s poll.

Former Vice President Mike Pence and former U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley both saw their support trending in a positive direction. Mr. Pence bumped up slightly to 17%, and Mrs. Haley is now sitting at 10%, which doubled from where she was in last month’s poll.

Mrs. Haley’s boost comes as she has formally announced her candidacy last week.

Mr. DeSantis still holds comfortable leads over possible contenders not named Trump in the poll. He hasn’t said that he will run for president, and isn’t expected to do so for some time. 

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey was conducted Feb. 15-16 and surveyed 1,838 registered voters.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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