A new national poll shows that while former President Donald Trump would defeat Gov. Ron DeSantis in a hypothetical 2024 Primary, he may not be able to claim majority support.
A survey conducted by Yahoo! and YouGov between Aug. 18 and Aug. 22 shows Trump getting just 49% in a 2024 head-to-head duel, one that requires the caveat that no such national Primary exists.
DeSantis received 31% in the survey, with an additional 21% of the 543 Republican and Republican-leaning respondents not sure whether they preferred the former President or the Florida Governor.
The Trump versus DeSantis question has been probed before, of course. This survey added a third element, Wyoming U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, who seems to be in the early stages of running a Never Trump-styled campaign in 2024.
Remarkably, Trump polls better when Cheney is added to the hypothetical. He drew 50% support from respondents, with 32% for DeSantis (also +1 from a Cheney-free field), and just 6% for Cheney. 13% of respondents couldn’t decide.
Though DeSantis didn’t seriously challenge Trump in either scenario overall, independent voters who leaned toward voting in the 2024 Republican Primary did prefer the Governor whether Cheney was in play or not.
In a two-person field, 38% of Independents liked DeSantis, with 36% picking Trump.
In the Cheney-inclusive three-person field, DeSantis’ lead stretched, with 41% of Independents preferring him over Trump, who drew 37%, and Cheney, who mustered just 5% support from that subgroup.
National polls have generally shown Trump atop the field, but the former President struggling to hit 50% here suggests vulnerability if DeSantis and he both run for the presidency in 2024.
Recent state polling reinforces that read. A University of California, Berkeley poll of Golden State voters showed DeSantis down just 11 points in a hypothetical California Republican Primary. Closer to home, a University of North Florida poll suggests DeSantis could defeat Trump in a 2024 Republican Primary in Florida.
Though DeSantis traveled around this country this month to hold rallies in support of Trump-backed candidates in the Southwest and the Rust Belt, he was coy when asked Tuesday morning if he’s even talked to the former President recently.
“To the extent I do have conversations with him, I’m sure the Department of Justice and the FBI would leak that to the New York Times, so stay tuned on that,” DeSantis said cryptically, closing an otherwise friendly interview on Fox and Friends.