Ron Desantis Places Third In The Florida Presidential Primary

( — Donald Trump easily won the Florida primary on Tuesday as the only major candidate remaining in the race. However, even with no viable contender, nearly 20 percent of Florida Republicans voted for someone other than Trump, Politico reported.

With over 90 percent of the vote counted, Trump secured just over 80 percent, with former GOP candidate Nikki Haley coming in a distant second with just over 14 percent. Haley had not suspended her campaign by the time early voting and mail-in voting began in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis, whose campaign was long over before early and mail-in voting began, still came in third with just under 4 percent.

Trump, who voted for himself in Palm Beach on Tuesday, won the primary by a significant enough margin to secure all 125 delegates. But even with the other candidates out of the race, nearly a fifth of Florida Republicans chose to vote against Trump.

In 2020, there were four Republicans on the Florida primary ballot when Trump secured nearly 94 percent of the vote. Winning just over 80 percent in a race that was effectively uncontested could be a significant red flag, especially considering the low turnout in Tuesday’s primary in a state where Republican voter registration has skyrocketed in recent years.

Trump won Florida in both the 2016 and 2020 general elections and is projected to win it again in November. With the number of registered Republicans in the state much higher now than in 2020, Trump could beat Biden by much more than the mere 3.3-point advantage he had in 2020.

Unlike Nikki Haley, Governor DeSantis endorsed Trump when he dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucus. Since then, DeSantis has reportedly reached out to donors and supporters, indicating that he may be planning to run for president again in four years.

Florida Republican Party Chairman Evan Power dismissed any concerns about the 20 percent of Florida Republicans who did not back Trump in Tuesday’s primary, telling Politico that the grassroots base in Florida was “united and ready to work.”

Power also dismissed DeSantis’ third-place finish in the primary, noting that the governor had been out of the race for much longer than Haley and that his poor showing on Tuesday was no “judgment on him.”

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