Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, 44, who is 33 years younger than his main rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, former President Donald Trump, 77, is struggling to inspire voters in a demographic where many thought he would excel.
A new Fox News poll shows DeSantis trails Trump by 50 points among voters under the age of 45. The nationwide poll, taken June 23-26 among 1,005 registered voters, found Trump with an edge of 64%-14% over DeSantis among those under 45. Trump had an overall advantage over DeSantis of 56%-22%. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.
It was the worst demographic group by which DeSantis trailed Trump, and it might not be a good sign because DeSantis has campaigned on bringing renewed energy to the executive branch.
“As president, I pledge to be an energetic executive. We will be on offense, and we will take the issues head on,” DeSantis tweeted June 2.
Among respondents 45-64, DeSantis was trailing 52%-27%; and he was down 50%-30% among those 65 and older. Among men, he is down 57%-23%; and among women, the gap is 54%-21%. Of those with incomes of $50,000 and less, Trump leads DeSantis 58%-17%; and of those with incomes above $50,000, he is up 55%-25%.
“The DeSanctimonious campaign is DEAD!” Trump posted on Truth Social on Thursday, using his nickname for DeSantis. “His polls are dropping like a rock heading to Hell, and the DOJ [Department of Justice]/FBI are continuing their illegal and outrageous weaponization against me only because I am leading [President Joe] Biden by so much. It’s called ELECTION INTERFERENCE, and they have NO FEAR against DeSanctus — He’s the one that they are dying to run against, dispute their DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN!”
Among Democrats, President Joe Biden had a lead of 64%-17% over Robert F. Kennedy Jr., with Marianne Williamson checking in at 10%. Among those under age 45, Biden had a 58%-18% lead, with a margin of 68%-17% among those 45-64 and 80%-11% among those 65 and older.