Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is starting to catch Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the polls, with the latest showing the businessman just a handful of percentage points behind the once high-flying leader of anti-lockdown measures.
A new poll by Echelon Insights shows both men trailing former President Donald Trump by massive margins, a result that mirrors previous polls and confirms the party’s de-facto leader remains the top contender to take on President Joe Biden next year. The 45th president garnered 49 percent of support from over 1,000 likely voters nationwide while DeSantis came in second place with just 16 percent. Ramaswamy gained two points since the last poll, coming in third place with 10 percent among respondents.
Further into the poll, voters were asked whether they would support the Republican or Democratic nominee for president, which each party garnering 44 percent and 46 percent, respectively, among definite and likely voters. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they do not want President Biden to run for a second term, and in a head-to-head matchup, President Trump trails Biden 44 to 45 percent, well within the poll’s 3.9 percent margin of error. Other recent polls have given the former president a clear lead over the embattled incumbent.
President Biden’s biggest enemy may be himself, overseeing a weakened economy that voters say is getting worse while their personal finances are becoming less secure. While Wall Street has rebounded somewhat from a disastrous 2022, investors continue to weigh additional interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and expect volatility through the second half of 2023. Overall 59 percent of voters disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the nation’s economy.
As voters continue to express dissatisfaction with Biden, workhorse candidates like Ramaswamy have the potential to disrupt a Republican primary that will inevitably require Republicans opposing President Trump to unite behind a single alternative. Governor DeSantis, once seen as a possibility, suffered from a glitch-ridden campaign rollout on Twitter and has been knocked for losing the endorsements of Florida’s Republican congressional delegation, among other sins. Ramaswamy earned free media during President Trump’s indictment over the handling of classified documents by staging a press conference outside a Miami courthouse where he called on all Republican presidential contenders to join him in promising to pardon the former president if he is convicted on charges brought by agents of the Biden administration.