Former President Donald Trump shared an update on his Truth Social platform on Monday, which, if accurate, could significantly impact the landscape of the 2024 presidential race and potentially signal shifts for 2026 and beyond.
In his post, Trump conveyed that he had come across “rumors” that, if true, could lead to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis withdrawing from the presidential race. Trump indicated that DeSantis’ campaign was struggling to gain traction and was even losing ground to Trump himself due to the mounting indictments against him. Trump’s post suggested that these indictments might be working in his favor.
“Rumors are strong in political circles that Ron DeSanctimonious, whose Presidential run is a shambles, and whose poll numbers have absolutely crashed, putting him 3rd and 4th in some states, will be dropping out of the Presidential race in order to run, in Florida, against Rick Scott for Senate. Now that’s an interesting one, isn’t it?” Trump wrote.
The DeSantis camp reacted to Trump’s statement on the following day.
Below is the response from the DeSantis team:
This is fake news. Clearly, Donald Trump and his army of consultants are panicked about @RonDeSantis' winning debate performance and the strong momentum that has followed. They know this is a two-man race, and we will carry this on to a win in this presidential primary. Instead… https://t.co/f4PNHEzHnE
— Bryan Griffin (@BryanDGriffin) August 28, 2023
“This is fake news. Clearly, Donald Trump and his army of consultants are panicked about @RonDeSantis’ winning debate performance and the strong momentum that has followed,” DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin posted on the X platform.
“They know this is a two-man race, and we will carry this on to a win in this presidential primary. Instead of pushing fake news from New Jersey, the Trump campaign should be focused on getting their candidate on the campaign trail in Iowa and on the debate stage before it’s too late,” Griffin’s post added.
Moreover, Forbes reported that DeSantis could not simultaneously run for Senate and retain his position as governor due to Florida’s resign-to-run law. However, this law was amended in April by the GOP-led Florida legislature to allow elected officials to run for president and vice president while holding another office.
While still trailing far behind Trump, DeSantis experienced a slight increase in support after the first GOP primary debate moderated by Fox News. Notably, Trump did not participate in this debate but chose to be interviewed by Tucker Carlson.
According to the New York Post:
“Former President Donald Trump lost six percentage points of support in a national tracking poll after skipping last week’s first Republican primary debate, though the 77-year-old is still well clear of the rest of the GOP field.
An even 50% of likely Republican primary voters backed Trump in the Emerson College survey out Monday, down from 56% in the poll the outlet released Aug. 19, four days before the showdown at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gained two percentage points from the previous poll and placed second behind Trump with 12% support.
Following the top two were entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy at 9% (down a point from before the debate), and former Vice President Mike Pence and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at 7% each (up four and five points from before the debate, respectively).
“While Trump saw a slight dip in support, the question from this poll is whether this is a blip for Trump or if the other Republican candidates will be able to rally enough support to be competitive for the caucus and primary season,” said Emerson College Polling executive director Spencer Kimball in a statement to The Post.
“Different candidates have been able to pull varying demographic support from the Trump base,” Kimball added. “For example Mike Pence, who saw an overall four-point bump in voter support, was able to increase his support in the Midwest from 4% to 13% of the vote, while Trump saw his Midwest support drop from 54% to 42% after the debate.
“Nikki Haley’s support increased from about 2% to 9% among voters over 50 while Trump’s support dropped within this age group from about 56% to 49% after the debate,” Kimball added.