It may be a skewed sample size, but one thing should be concerning Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: When his name is even mentioned in his home state of Florida by one of Donald Trump’s top surrogates, he received prolonged boos.

Earlier this week, Kari Lake — the GOP nominee for governor in Arizona in 2022 and one of Trump’s highest-profile endorsements — visited the the Sunshine State to meet with voters in Palm Beach County.

Now, granted, the venue was a meeting of Club 47, according to the Palm Beach Post — described as “a fan club for followers of former President Donald Trump.”

Palm Beach County is also Trump’s home turf, so maybe, just maybe, the audience was a bit biased.

And, granted, they were willing to enthusiastically listen to Lake question the results of the 2020 election — something that’s taboo almost everywhere else:

However, DeSantis won the Florida gubernatorial race by a massive margin just a few months ago, and you might imagine that, while the crowd favored The Donald, loathing for DeSantis’ presidential campaign would be rather lukewarm.

You would imagine wrongly.

“One other person I want to ask you about, and there might be some people in this crowd, I might see a hand or two,” Lake said. “How many — I want a show of hands, how many are for Ron DeSantis?”

And let the boos commence:

Reports from both Twitter and the Palm Beach Post indicated that three people in the audience of roughly 1,000 put their hands up — and quickly put them down.

Perhaps the only good news was that the cascade of boos was even louder for former Vice President Mike Pence, who also recently entered the race.
Again: Small sample size, but a big problem for DeSantis.
After his triumphal victory in Florida last November — combined with a relatively poor showing for Trump-endorsed candidates — DeSantis quickly became the de facto opposition to Trump for the Republican nomination. However, a lackluster run-up to DeSantis’ campaign announcement combined with an unexpected bump for the former president after a politically motivated prosecution in New York City, combined with an outrageous civil court case in the same locale, swiftly put DeSantis into a clear and distant second-place to Trump.
DeSantis tried to grab back the momentum with a campaign announcement via a Twitter Spaces voice chat as opposed to a traditional speech. The event was glitchy, however, and when the tech was working as it was supposed to, it was still uninspiring.

That’s led to DeSantis faltering in the polls to the point where one wonders if he’ll be the designated anti-Trump candidate in the primaries — or, in fact, whether anyone will be able to challenge Trump, period.

As Florida Politics reported on Tuesday, DeSantis hit a new low in the latest Morning Consult survey, trailing Trump by 40 points nationally. And mind you, things got better after Trump was hit with a 37-count federal indictment for allegedly mishandling classified information.

“Nearly three in five potential Republican Primary (59%) voters back Trump for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination, up from 55% last week before news of his indictment on charges related to his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House. Almost one in five (19%) support DeSantis, nearing an all-time low since tracking began in December,” a memo that accompanied the survey read.

The poll was taken between June 9 and 11 and surveyed 3,419 potential Republican primary voters.

While the rest of the field was still significantly trailing DeSantis in the survey — the next closest candidate, Pence, only had 8 percent, and none of the other challengers could even make 5 percent — it still means that, as the season of serious campaigning and debates begins, DeSantis has a huge lead to erase.

And if he’s going to do it, he ain’t going to be starting the great comeback in Palm Beach County, from the looks of things.

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