Donald Trump Collapsing Right Before Our Eyes? The latest AP-NORC poll has more Republicans calling stating that they want Ron DeSantis as their leader than anyone else, including Donald Trump.
A major battle is almost certainly on the way between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Donald Trump: No Longer the GOP Leader?
Another new poll isn’t about who’s winning, but rather who GOP voters want as the party’s leader.
The January 2023 AP-NORC Center Poll, conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, asked various questions about politics, including who should lead the two parties.
When Republican voters were asked who currently leads the GOP, Trump came in first with 19 percent, followed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with 10 percent and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) with 9 percent, and DeSantis with 3 percent.
But when asked the question of “who do you want to be the leader of the Republican Party?,” DeSantis led with 22 percent, followed by Trump with 20 percent. No one else named in the survey — McCarthy, Rep. Jim Jordan, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Mitt Romney, former U.N. Ambassador and new presidential candidate Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, pundit Ben Shapiro, Gov. Brian Kemp, former President George W. Bush, and Sen. Lindsey Graham — got more than 1 percent. A large number of Republicans, 34 percent, answered that they were undecided.
DeSantis on Trump Property?
Also in the news this week was that DeSantis appeared at an event at one of Trump’s offices. According to Insider, the conservative group known as the Council for National Policy held an event at the Trump Doral resort in Florida, where DeSantis appeared as a speaker. Trump himself called into the event.
The Trump campaign issued a statement about the event.
“President Trump was honored to have the Council for National Policy at the world-renowned Trump National Doral,” spokesman Steven Cheung told Insider. “He spoke to a raucous crowd of conservative leaders, which gave him a standing ovation, to tout pro-life victories during his administration — including nominating pro-life federal judges and Supreme Court justices that overturned Roe v. Wade, ending tax-payer funded abortions, reinstated the Mexico City Policy that protects the life of the unborn abroad, and many other actions that championed the life of the unborn.”
While the event was off the record, attendees spoke to Insider.
“I think Trump offered to phone in after he heard [DeSantis] was speaking,” one guest told the news outlet. “There was no overt annoyance from Trump about DeSantis. He was good-natured and avoided mentioning the governor. It was a brief stream-of-consciousness list of his own achievements, mentioning the Supreme Court a couple of times.”
Following a report earlier in the week that Trump has used “Meatball Ron” as a nickname for this likely future opponent in conversations with friends, Trump denied in a Truth Social post that he has spent much time trying to come up with such nicknames, although the original post, in the New York Times, had not referred to Trump devoting much time to such efforts.
“All of the Fake News is reporting that I spend large amounts of my time coming up with a good ‘nickname’ for Ron DeSanctimonious, who is obviously going to give the presidential ‘thing’ a shot,” Trump said on the platform, using the previous nickname he had for the Florida governor. “They are all 100% wrong, I don’t even think about it — A very unimportant subject to me!!!”
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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.