US presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis escapes injury in car crash

Incident involving Republican candidate happened before campaign stop in Tennesee

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is 33 points behind Donald Trump in the race to be the Republican candidate for president. AP
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Republican Florida Governor and US presidential election candidate Ron DeSantis was involved in a car crash on Tuesday while travelling to a campaign stop in Tennessee, aides said.

He and his team were uninjured in the incident ahead of a scheduled appearance in Chattanooga, his campaign said, offering no further details.

“We appreciate the prayers and well wishes of the nation for his continued protection while on the campaign trail,” a spokesman said.

The accident was the latest setback in a two-month campaign that had been in the midst of a reset after a series of largely self-inflicted woes that began with a glitch-ridden Twitter launch.

Campaign officials have acknowledged lavish overspending, the US media has reported, while Mr DeSantis himself has been criticised for his awkwardness and inability to connect with ordinary voters.

Former president Donald Trump has an average lead of 33 points over Mr DeSantis in national polling as a crowded field of candidates prepares for the first debate in Milwaukee on August 23.

Despite languishing at 18.5 per cent, Mr DeSantis is still clear of the chasing pack and best placed to capitalise should Mr Trump's legal woes take him out of the race.

In the FiveThirtyEight national average, former vice president Mike Pence is third with just 5.6 per cent support, with businessman Vivek Ramaswamy at 5.5 per cent.

The DeSantis campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Updated: July 25, 2023, 4:53 PM