(CBrief) – Audio of a strategy session conducted by members of GOP presidential contender Ron DeSantis’ campaign held with several donors has leaked online.
The audio primarily featured a presentation by DeSantis pollster Ryan Tyson, who “assured donors gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami that DeSantis starts the race in good shape,” according to Florida Politics, which obtained the soundtrack.
The report said that the audio reveals the campaign’s enthusiasm over the Florida governor’s already growing national recognition and confidence that his standing, particularly in comparison to former President Donald Trump, will continue to strengthen over time.
“He’s known by as many Primary voters as the President is, and he’s better liked,” Tyson said. “That’s the first problem that Donald Trump, I feel like, has in these Primaries. His negatives are too high. And I will also say this. The No. 1 most effective and efficient driver of Donald Trump’s negatives is Donald Trump.”
Despite external polling indicating a growing lead for Trump over DeSantis in several early states, Tyson, in his remarks to donors, emphasized the image polling for both prominent GOP candidates. According to the data, DeSantis holds higher favorability ratings among likely primary and caucus participants in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, Florida Politics reported.
“The more that the Governor gets known to the few who don’t know who he is, we’re finding that the only voters who he is losing are left-of-center voters,” Tyson said, according to the report. “If those are voters in a Republican Primary, I’m more than happy to jettison them.”
The report added:
Tyson’s polling shows voters believe DeSantis to be more conservative than Trump, an important metric with Primary voters. The percentage of voters classifying DeSantis as “very conservative” sits between 43% and 50% in the early states.
Perhaps more surprising, voters give DeSantis very high scores regarding his readiness to serve as President. About 62% of Iowa voters polled feel he’s ready now.
Net ratings on readiness for DeSantis exceed those for Trump, despite Trump having already served a term as President.
Tyson acknowledges that DeSantis faces some structural challenges. Approximately 35% of surveyed voters expressed that they would only consider voting for Trump. Furthermore, the “Never Trumpers,” who tend to lean left of center within the Republican voter base, view DeSantis as too similar to Trump and are reluctant to support him.
The pollster went on to say that even before DeSantis’ official launch, he found that a solid 25 percent of voters are ready to commit to the governor. And he added that while the field is filling with several GOP candidates, none of them are gaining traction with the Republican electorate and are not going to throughout the upcoming primaries.
“I would offer to you after my field research that voters fundamentally do not buy what those candidates are selling today,” he said. “They just don’t. You can see that in their messaging that they just don’t talk to actual Republican Primary voters in the country today.”
Tyson went on to suggest that DeSantis winning the nomination would also be good for the Republican Party in general during the 2024 election cycle.
“It’s not just about him,” Tyson said. “It’s about bringing folks along with the party and building back the party so we can win those state legislative seats, we can win those congressional seats, we can take back the Senate.”
He went on to suggest that the primary, if it is not decided early, could come down to Florida, where DeSantis as governor may have an advantage over Trump, who lives in the state.
At that, Tyson pointed to DeSantis’ nearly 20-point victory in last year’s reelection campaign.