If Florida Republicans were forced to choose between former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis as the 2024 presidential nominee, more than half would pick DeSantis, according to a new poll.
A survey of 656 likely Republican voters released Tuesday by Blueprint Polling shows DeSantis the choice of 51% when voters who lean one way or another are considered, with a 12-point lead over Trump at 39%.
With voters who are firm in their positions, meanwhile, the DeSantis advantage is 14 points, with the Governor taking 47% support and Trump just 33%.
“DeSantis attracts 50.9% overall, with the margin among GOP women 11 points greater than with Republican men. Older Republicans are more likely to support Trump, but DeSantis still leads the former President in all age groupings. Trump is tied with DeSantis among voters with some college but among high school graduates as well as college graduates and those with advanced degrees, DeSantis polls much better,” notes a polling memo accompanying the release.
DeSantis, the crosstabs reveal, also leads with the 17 self-identified nonbinary Republican voters polled, with 47% support compared to 36% for Trump.
Central to the overall DeSantis lead, the poll suggests, is the former President’s continued contention that his election loss to Joe Biden in 2020 was rigged, described by these pollsters as “the big lie.” While 86% of Trump backers believe the 2020 result was not legitimate, just 53% of those who back DeSantis agree.
Regarding the post-election “threatening and harassing” election officials by aggrieved Trump backers, 46% of those who support DeSantis think the Trumpers went too far, while just 12% of 2024 Trump backers believe the drama after the election was too much.
This poll is the strongest single-state DeSantis poll thus far in what is still a mostly conceptual 2024 presidential race. A June poll by the University of New Hampshire of the first in the nation Primary state had DeSantis over Trump, but most polls have shown some version of a Trump lead that seems to be eroding nonetheless.
A recent Iowa poll showed DeSantis gaining support at Trump’s expense, but still well behind the former President. Club for Growth polling on the state level has shown Trump well ahead.
Even polls that show Trump leading by a wide margin, such as Tuesday’s NY Times/Siena poll, seem to concern the former President. Hours after that poll was released, which showed Trump with 49%, good for first place but not a majority, the former President bemoaned “fake polls” from the paper.