Less than one in six eligible voters in Florida think Governor Ron DeSantis will be the GOP’s presidential candidate in 2024, according to a new poll conducted exclusively for Newsweek.

The Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey found 51 percent of Floridians believe Donald Trump is “most likely to be the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election,” versus 15 percent who believe it will be DeSantis. All other candidates came in at two percent or less, with 21 percent saying they didn’t know.

This represents a fresh blow for the Florida governor who has been struggling to gain ground in a race that continues to be dominated by Trump. The DeSantis campaign has cut 38 staff members, about a third of its total, over the past couple of weeks as it seeks to get back on track.

Detailed analysis of the survey shows a notably higher proportion of Floridian women than men think DeSantis will be the Republican’s next White House candidate. In total, 16 percent of female Florida voters hold this view versus 13 percent of their male counterparts. On the other hand, 53 percent of male voters in Florida think Trump will be the nominee, against 50 percent for women.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on July 14, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. Most Floridians don’t expect DeSantis to be the GOP’s 2024 presidential candidate, according to a new poll.
GETTY/Scott Olson

The survey of 840 eligible voters in Florida was conducted from July 25-26, with the pollster stating it is 95 percent certain that each value is within 3.38 percent of the true result.

Newsweek has contacted the DeSantis campaign and Trump for comment via email and online press contact form, respectively.

Some 49 percent of Floridians think Joe Biden will represent the Democratic party again in 2024, according to the survey, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. coming in second at nine percent, and Vice President Kamala Harris in third with eight percent. No other candidate scored higher than three percent, with 25 percent saying they didn’t know the answer.

National polling also gives both Trump and Biden commanding leads in the primary contests for their respective parties, suggesting America could be headed for another Biden-Trump presidential contest as in 2020.

A recent Monmouth University poll of Republican-leaning registered voters found 46 percent backed Trump as the GOP nominee, versus 20 percent backing DeSantis. In a head-to-head between the two candidates, Trump got 55 percent, against 22 percent for DeSantis with the remainder being unsure.

Separately, a Siena/New York Times survey conducted at the end of last month found 52 percent of Republican voters would prioritize “a candidate who says that the government should stay out of deciding what corporations can support,” against 38 percent who would prefer a nominee “who promises to fight corporations that promote ‘woke’ left ideology.”

This is potentially bad news for DeSantis who has made his conflict with ‘woke’ corporations a major feature of his campaign. In 2022, the Florida governor signed a law stripping Disney of its self-governing status after the entertainment giant criticized a law he introduced banning teaching about sexuality and gender identity through third grade. This was later extended, with some exemptions, through 12th grade.