Yet another single-state poll of Republican voters suggests Gov. Ron DeSantis would be the front-runner for the 2024 GOP nomination in a field without Donald Trump.
And even with the former President in the field, the May poll from Texas’ CWS Research shows DeSantis as an increasingly strong runner-up, at least among 992 likely voters in this year’s Texas Primary surveyed between May 4 and May 10.
Without Trump in the field, DeSantis was the choice of 56% of respondents, well ahead of two favorite sons. Sen. Ted Cruz had just 14% support, and Gov. Greg Abbott had just 10% backing, with all other names in single digits.
Yet even when the former President’s name was included, Trump was not the choice of a clear majority. Trump mustered just 45% support, with DeSantis garnering 28%, a full eight points up from April polling from this same group. Ambassador Nikki Haley was a distant third, with 7% support, and Cruz and Abbott farther back yet.
CWS Polling continues to test DeSantis’ appeal, and Florida’s Governor performs well. A February press release promoted a survey with DeSantis “crushing” the Texas Governor in a hypothetical head-to-head Presidential Primary matchup.
The latest positive Texas survey tracks with good polls for DeSantis in other states important to Republican candidates, such as North Carolina, where a competitive Primary season has led to prospective 2024 questions as well in a series of polls that show that a growing number of people regard DeSantis as a first choice, even if Trump runs again as many expect.
National polls corroborate the more granular surveys of what is still a hypothetical contest.
A survey from Echelon Insights of 377 Republican registered voters, a subset of a larger poll of 1,001 registered voters, showed that in a head-to-head battle with Trump, DeSantis would command over one-third of the vote.
Meanwhile, when scenarios are envisioned where the former President does not run, DeSantis benefits.
The aforementioned Echelon Insights poll likewise had DeSantis at 35% in a Trump-free field, with more support than the next four finishers combined.
The April 2022 McLaughlin & Associates poll, in the field from Apr. 22 to Apr. 26, showed the Governor above 30%, with more support than what runners-up Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. mustered.
The April 2022 Harvard/Harris Poll also showed the Governor with 35% of Republican respondents backing him if former President Trump stands down.
Other metrics besides polling show a strengthening DeSantis position, including odds touted by professional bookmakers. Trump’s odds to win the nomination and the General Election have declined between March and now, and DeSantis has seen his odds improve on both counts.