In the seemingly unlikely event that Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis went head-to-head in the 2024 Republican presidential Primary, the former President would likely be the choice of Florida voters, according to one new poll.
A survey conducted late last month by Suffolk University and USA Today found Trump was the choice of 47% of those surveyed, while DeSantis was preferred by 40% in that hypothetical head-to-head matchup.
A gender gap exists here for the Governor. DeSantis led Trump by 1 percentage point with male voters. Female voters, however, went for Trump 51% to 38%.
Just 176 likely Republican Primary voters were surveyed, so the overall result is inside the margin of error of +/-7.4 %.
But for those who remember how Trump obliterated Marco Rubio in Florida six years ago, the results may be a reminder of the former President’s potency.
Still, other metrics were more positive for DeSantis.
Larger polling including Democrats and independents showed that despite losing in the theoretical Primary to Trump, DeSantis may perform better in a General Election against President Joe Biden.
DeSantis would get 52% of the vote, while Trump would get 47%. Biden got 44% against either Trump or DeSantis.
The polling suggests a gender gap in a hypothetical Biden versus DeSantis race. Women prefer Biden, 49% to 46%. But DeSantis dominated with male voters with 58% support, a full 20 points over Biden.
The eight-point DeSantis lead is outside the +/-4.4 % margin of error. That survey sampled 500 likely Florida voters.
Pollsters also tested a potential 2024 showdown between DeSantis and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats. DeSantis won that one handily with 53% support, 13 points ahead of Clinton. The poll found 61% of male voters would back DeSantis.
And just as he did against Biden, DeSantis outperformed Trump against Clinton. Trump won the hypothetical 2016 rematch by a smaller margin, 49% to 42%.
The polling also found the Governor well-positioned in his re-election battle no matter which Democrat he faces in November.
DeSantis leads former Gov. Charlie Crist 49% to 43%, with 8% undecided. DeSantis also leads Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried 51% to 40%, with 9% undecided. DeSantis was ahead with independent voters against both candidates.
The Crist camp trumpeted the poll as a sign of the campaign’s viability.
“Charlie is the only candidate that’s competitive with DeSantis, holding him below 50 percent and well within striking distance. It’s early and we like the state of the race,” said Crist campaign Press Secretary, Samantha Ramirez. “We are building an historic grassroots movement made up of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents fed up with DeSantis’s divisive policies that are failing to help Floridians. This campaign is strong because the people of Florida are strong, and in November the people are going to elect a governor who cares about them — and that’s Charlie.”