GOP 'civil war' brewing as Trump rages against 'communist' polls showing DeSantis inching ahead
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis / Gage Skidmore

On Thursday, NBC News reported that Republicans are anticipating a nasty fight brewing as former President Donald Trump lashes out at polls showing some Republican voters prefer Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over him for the 2024 Republican nomination.

NBC News started out by noting that multiple polls showing DeSantis pulling ahead of Trump in hypothetical 2024 primary matchups.

"DeSantis led Trump 52 percent to 38 percent in the Wall Street Journal survey, which was released Wednesday. Fox News reported on the Wall Street Journal poll and a USA Today/Suffolk University poll that showed DeSantis up 56 percent to 33 percent over Trump in a one-on-one test," noted the report, although other polls, like Morning Consult, still give Trump the edge.

Trump himself subsequently promoted one of those polls showing him winning on Truth Social — the longtime GOP polling firm McLaughlin & Associates.

RELATED: MAGA rioter 'can't believe' he's going to jail for Trump after watching trading card stunt

"This is the McLaughlin & Associates POLL that just came out and which got it right in 2016 & 2020 (with margins for theft and cheating), unlike The WSJ, NBC Fake News, ABC Fake News, Fake Polling FOX NEWS, the dying and very sickly USA Today, and most others in the LameStream Media," Trump wrote. "In other words, it is REAL POLLING. As you can see, we are leading by a lot, despite the never ending Communist (Democrat) WEAPONIZED ATTACKS on me and the GREAT PATRIOTS OF MAGA. More to come!!!"

DeSantis, who won re-election overwhelmingly this year, has still not indicated whether he plans to challenge Trump for the nomination. Trump is so far the only Republican candidate who has formally declared for the primary.

"DeSantis is rising and Trump is increasingly scared of being left for dead by the Republican Party," Dan Eberhart, a DeSantis-backing GOP donor, told NBC. "Trump is not going to let DeSantis grab his throne without a fight. We are on the eve of nothing less than a civil war in the Republican Party."

Some Trump strategists are confident he will win, said the report: "One GOP strategist who worked on Trump's 2020 campaign likened DeSantis' early lead to the fast-disappearing edge that then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry had over the GOP field early in the 2012 primary race. DeSantis is in 'a very good place' right now, the strategist said, but may not have the luxury of waiting to 'harness that energy.'"

This comes after Trump has faced serious setbacks in his bid to retake the White House, including national media outrage over his dinner with anti-Semitic rapper Kanye "Ye" West and neo-Nazi livestreamer Nick Fuentes, and the unveiling of a trading card NFT scheme that was widely derided.