Despite the best efforts of Donald Trump to clear the 2024 Republican field of competition, polls nationwide continue to show a significant portion of Republicans preferring a first Ron DeSantis run to a third Trump try.
In Florida, meanwhile, polls continue to show DeSantis at least holding his own with the former President, including a survey rolled out Tuesday of registered Republicans from the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab.
The survey was conducted from Aug. 8 to Aug. 12, at a time when the entire right wing rallied to Trump in the wake of the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago compound. But whatever sympathy was created for the former President did not translate into success in this survey.
DeSantis edges Trump in the UNF poll of a hypothetical 2024 GOP Primary, with 47% support compared to 45% for the former President. An additional 7% of the 671 Republican respondents couldn’t choose between Trump and the Governor.
“DeSantis and Trump are the two most popular Republican names being discussed for 2024 and DeSantis is edging him out in their home state,” commented UNF PORL polling director Michael Binder.
There were splits in the data. While Trump led DeSantis narrowly with female Republicans, 46% to 45%, DeSantis was the draw for male voters. A full 50% preferred DeSantis over Trump, who was seven points behind with that demographic.
Non-college educated voters split evenly, with 47% support each for Trump and DeSantis. But DeSantis led with voters with college degrees, with 49% support compared to just 41% for Trump.
White Republicans preferred DeSantis by double digits, with the Governor leading Trump 51% to 41%. However, DeSantis was down with the 60 Hispanic Republicans surveyed, garnering just 35% support, 22 points behind Trump.
Interestingly, DeSantis performed weakest with Republicans between the ages of 35 to 44. Those voters preferred Trump to the Governor, 56% to 35%. But among Republicans between the ages of 25 and 34, DeSantis drubbed Trump, drawing 52% support, against an anemic 13% for the former President.
The UNF poll continues a summer of favorable surveys for DeSantis in the state.
Naples-based Victory Insights showed DeSantis ahead of Donald Trump 61% to 39% back in July, when respondents leaning to one candidate or another are forced to choose a side.
A survey of 656 likely Republican voters also released in July 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%.
DeSantis has demonstrated strength elsewhere also. A June poll by the University of New Hampshire of the first in the nation Primary state had DeSantis over Trump.