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Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has steadily lost ground in national polls.Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Ron DeSantis loses more altitude in national polls

The Florida governor has slid while Donald Trump has risen in the months since Trump's first indictment in New York.

By and

Former President Donald Trump’s ascent in the national polls since his first indictment last spring has been arguably the most important story in the Republican presidential race.

But right alongside it is the other important story: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decline.

Just look at these three national polls.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s polling, Trump held a 24-point lead over DeSantis back in April, 48% to 24%. But now it’s a 46-point advantage for Trump, 59% to 13% (though the rest of the GOP field has changed during this time).

Or take CNN’s polling, which had Trump ahead of DeSantis by 21 points nationally back in June, 47% to 26%. But Trump’s lead has now ballooned to 34 points, 52% to 18%.

Or look at Fox News’ poll, which had DeSantis at 28% back in February, versus 43% for Trump.

But Fox’s latest national poll — back in mid-August — had DeSantis at 16% (versus 53% for Trump). 

Altogether, the pattern is clear: DeSantis’ national polling percentages have gone from the mid- to high-20s earlier this year to the teens now. And instead of battling directly with Trump, he's fighting fellow rivals for the right to remain the top alternative.