Recent poll results from Ohio, a state known for its political barometer properties, reveal a surprising shift in the Republican race. The new figures place Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a not-so-familiar third place, while an unexpected contender advances.
Leading the pack, unsurprisingly, is former President Donald Trump, securing a dominant 64.1 percent approval in the poll conducted by Ohio Northern University. The surprise lies in the second-place candidate: entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who managed to outstrip DeSantis with 11.8 percent support. DeSantis followed at 8.7 percent.
Other GOP figures found further down the ranks include former Vice President Mike Pence at 6.4 percent, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley at 2.7 percent, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 1.8 percent, while former Arkansas Gov Asa Hutchinson trailed with a modest 0.8 percent support.
The poll, which surveyed 675 Ohio residents, is significant due to Ohio’s knack for picking Republican presidential primary winners who go on to become the party’s nominee. An interesting exception to this pattern was in 2016 when Ohio’s own Gov. John Kasich won his home state primary while running for president.
Philip Bump of The Washington Post suggests that DeSantis falling into third place contributes to the impression that “DeSantis is just another candidate.” According to Bump, the current standing of DeSantis not only indicates his failure to surpass Trump but also hints at a potential downward trajectory for the Florida governor, which could be a stumbling block for the candidate often viewed as a viable alternative to Trump.
Rich Lowry, the editor-in-chief at National Review, highlights DeSantis’s challenges in transitioning from a competent and popular governor to a presidential hopeful. In Lowry’s analysis, DeSantis’s initially pragmatic and effective approach has become increasingly ideological over time, which could be affecting his standing in the race.
Lowry suggests that moving forward, DeSantis may find value in showcasing his effectiveness in leadership, not just in combating ‘wokeness,’ but in the day-to-day management of a state, something that could appeal to a broader spectrum of Republican voters.
This intriguing twist in the GOP primary race is a reminder that the political landscape can be as unpredictable as it is engaging, emphasizing the importance of each candidate’s ability to adapt and resonate with the electorate. As the race progresses, it will be fascinating to see how each contender adjusts their strategy in response to these shifting sands.