TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Nearly 8 out of 10 Republican voters say their support for Governor Ron DeSantis is unfazed by his support for Florida’s new six-week abortion ban, according to a new Harvard poll.
When GOP voters were asked how DeSantis signing the “Heartbeat Protection Act” would determine whether or not they would vote for the governor in 2024, 48 percent said it would have “no effect” and another 32 percent said it made their support “more likely.” Meanwhile, 21 percent admitted they were “less likely” to vote for DeSantis.
The governor has not yet announced his candidacy for president but is widely expected to do so.
ABORTION: KEY ISSUE FOR SWING VOTERS
DeSantis’ record on abortion could prove pivotal in a potential primary matchup with former President Donald Trump in 2024. His stance on the controversial issue looms even larger if DeSantis ends up on a general election ballot against President Biden or any other Democrat candidate.
Last summer, abortion was the club DeSantis’ Democrat challenger Charlie Crist most frequently reached for to hammer the governor. The strategy proved unsuccessful, however, as Crist lost in a historic fashion.
Trump and DeSantis both assert themselves to be pro-life, but have avoided taking a clear-cut position on the issue.
Last week, Trump’s campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told the Washington Post that the former president thinks the states should determine the issue. The Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America called his stance a “morally indefensible position for a self-proclaimed pro-life presidential candidate.”
TRUMP HOLDS COMMANDING LEAD
The survey suggests Trump currently holds a 22-point lead over DeSantis in a head-to-head matchup. When asked about a hypothetical GOP primary, however, 53 percent of respondents said they think the governor could win and 49 percent predicted that Trump would lose.
Meanwhile, 58 percent agreed with the statement: “DeSantis is ready to give Trump a real challenge.”
DESANTIS LEADS BIDEN AND HARRIS
For DeSantis, beating Trump in a primary may prove harder than defeating Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris in the general election. The poll found that the governor leads Biden by 3 points and Harris by 2 points. In both cases, a significant 17 percent of respondents remain uncertain.
SUPPORT FOR DISNEY FIGHT
The governor’s ongoing battle with Disney is not deterring a majority of voters at this point. More than 7 out of 10 Republicans and 4 in 10 Democrats said they support DeSantis in the high-profile skirmish. Over half (54 percent) of independent voters also back the governor’s actions against Disney.