Former President Donald Trump is headed to the Lone Star State in the wake of new polling showing him dominating Ron DeSantis and the GOP field.
Per a media release from the Trump campaign, the 45th President “will hold the first rally of his 2024 campaign in Waco, TX on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 5:00 PM CDT.”
“It is undisputed that Texas is Trump Country after electing 37 Trump Endorsed Candidates and recent polling among Texas primary voters,” the release notes.
The former President commanded 43% support, 16 points ahead of DeSantis’ 27%. Undecided voters made up 13% of the sample, with former United Nations envoy Nikki Haley at 5% and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and former Vice President Mike Pence at 4%.
The poll represents a marked decline for DeSantis against Trump. In the January poll, Trump led 36% to 35%. The current poll suggests Trump could be peeling support away from the Florida Governor.
The same pollster had DeSantis leading Trump back in November, with 43% support being good for an 11-point lead over Trump. That represented the high point of a surge; back in July 2022, Trump held a 19-point lead over DeSantis in the same survey.
The poll was in the field before DeSantis secured an endorsement from a member of the House Freedom Caucus, of which DeSantis was a member when he was in Congress.
Texas Congressman Chip Roy said he was backing DeSantis, describing him as a “vibrant and energetic leader with the faith, vision, and courage to chart a new course,” and “a leader who will truly defend her and empower the people against the destructive force of unrestrained government and corporate excess, profligate spending and woke cultural indoctrination.”
DeSantis recently spoke in Texas as well, though after this poll was in the field. He offered laudatory remarks about the state while speaking in Houston.
“They know you don’t mess with Texas — and you don’t tread on Florida,” DeSantis said. “I really believe if it hadn’t been for Texas and Florida playing the role we have in this country in recent history, our entire country would be one big, woke, neo-Marxist dumpster fire.”