The positions of Republican rivals to former President Donald Trump are beginning to shift, with the latest poll out of Ohio showing businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has eclipsed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for second place in the Buckeye State.
According to the Ohio Northern University Institute for Civics and Public Policy, President Trump maintains a chasmic lead over his competitors for the Republican nomination to take on President Joe Biden in 2024. However, the shift by Ramaswamy into second place is remarkable given the high-profile stumbles of Governor DeSantis.
Among likely GOP primary voters, Ramaswamy collected 11.8 percent of support compared to 8.7 percent for DeSantis. Trump far and away remains the most popular choice, garnering 64.1 percent. The remaining GOP candidates collected between 0 and 6 percent according to the Post Millennial.
In a head-to-head matchup, President Trump would carry Ohio over President Biden by a margin of 49.1 percent to 39 percent. Ohio has traditionally been a swing state that always voted for the ultimate winner of the presidential election, though that has not proved true in recent cycles. President Trump carried Ohio with 53 percent of the vote in 2020, though Biden was eventually declared the winner of the election.
President Trump’s dominance over President Biden in the polls mirrors past national polls giving him a clear seven-point edge over the incumbent. While the general election is still 16 months away and much could happen, the former president remains in the driver’s seat.
Governor DeSantis in recent days has laid off a third of his campaign staff and shed its advertising budget as the campaign seeks to reset itself after spending over a third of all funds raised and hiring dozens more staffers than any other campaign. The combative Florida governor has lashed out at reporters who questioned whether his falters are emblematic of a campaign team that isn’t ready for the national stage.
Ramaswamy, meanwhile, has garnered attention from Republican voters as a dark horse candidate willing to walk into almost any room and doesn’t shy away from tough encounters with liberals who disrupt his events. Both he and Governor DeSantis have qualified for the Republican Party’s first debate, set to be held next month in Milwaukee, which requires each candidate to garner at least 40,000 individual donors and garner at least 1 percent support in three national polls or two national polls and one independent poll from two or more early-voting states.