DeSantis Backers More Likely To Rally Behind Trump

Supporters of former Republican presidential contender Ron DeSantis are much more likely to turn to former President Donald Trump, according to a CNN poll conducted in recent days.

The Florida governor dropped out of the GOP race on Sunday, providing further momentum for Trump’s path to the nomination. DeSantis rallied his supporters with his endorsement of the 45th president, leading to speculation that his dropping out is a boon for Trump.

Though some took to social media to voice their displeasure with the decision, the CNN poll revealed most agreed with DeSantis.

The polling data was released mere hours before the bombshell Sunday announcement that DeSantis suspended his presidential campaign.

The survey found 62% of likely Republican voters in New Hampshire who backed DeSantis listed Trump as their second choice. Only 30% chose former South Carolina Gov. Nikkie Haley, the 45th president’s only remaining major rival.

DeSantis stepped aside while acknowledging the pledge he signed with the Republican Party to support the eventual nominee. He vowed to honor that committment.

The governor explained that he now backs Trump “because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear: a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.”

Haley, of course, wants to pull off a dramatic upset in the Granite State. But even as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s withdrawal from the race appeared to aid her cause, DeSantis stepping aside should have the opposite effect.

Christie’s campaign ran almost exclusively on a platform of hatred for Trump. It garnered a measure of support from moderate and leftist Republicans, hardly a party majority.

But DeSantis had far more in common with the former president as far as his appeal to true conservatives. And while some may be upset, they likely will find much more common ground with Trump than Haley.

With the Florida governor still listed as a choice, the CNN survey showed Trump with 50% of support from likely GOP primary voters. Haley drew 39% while DeSantis lagged far behind with only 6%.

The CNN/University of New Hampshire poll was conducted from Jan. 16 to Jan. 19. It surveyed 2,348 respondents that included 1,242 likely Republican primary participants. It cited a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.