Florida Republican voters would prefer Gov. Ron DeSantis as a 2024 presidential nominee over former President Donald Trump. That’s according to the findings from the latest Victory Insights poll.
The same pollster finds DeSantis would beat President Joe Biden in Florida, but Trump would narrowly lose to the Democratic incumbent.
Victory Insights polled voters on Nov. 16 and 17, surveying 700 likely Republican voters for a potential Primary matchup between the two Florida men most mentioned as Republican contenders. The same pollster also surveyed 600 likely General Election voters for hypothetical matchups with both GOP candidates going head-to-head with the Oval Office’s current occupant.
In a potential Republican Presidential Primary between Trump and DeSantis, the poll found more than 47% favoring the Florida Governor and almost 37% preferring the former President. When pollsters pushed undecided voters to pick sides, DeSantis’ lead expanded to a near 56%-45% edge over Trump.
Pollsters reported a 3.7-percentage-point margin of error, and DeSantis’ lead over Trump falls outside that with or without leaners.
That’s a strong finding especially considering Trump already launched his campaign for President in 2024. DeSantis continues to brush off questions if he will run, though he notably headlined the first cattle call of presidential contenders this weekend at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual conference in Las Vegas.
Even with the knowledge that Trump has declared and DeSantis has not, 42% of Florida Republicans still think DeSantis should run and just 33% believe he should back off.
As for who would win Florida in November 2024, Victory Insights pollsters tested both a DeSantis-Biden matchup and a Trump-Biden contest. It found DeSantis with more than 50% of support from voters, compared to Biden’s 46%. When undecided voters were pushed, DeSantis’ support reached almost 53% with Biden ending up with 47%.
That’s a starkly different outcome from the Biden-Trump matchup, where the pollster predicts Biden would win. The initial poll found Biden up 48% to 43%. The advantage narrowed when undecided voters were asked to pick sides, but Biden still came out on top 51% to 49%. Pollsters report a 4.14-percentage-point margin of error, pegging both races technically as statistically tied.
Of note, Trump beat Biden in 2020 in Florida by more than 3 percentage points, even as the Democrat won nationwide.
Even more than personal preference, Republican Primary voters view DeSantis as a better candidate for unseating Biden. About 61% believe DeSantis has a better shot at winning in November, and just 39% think Trump has the better shot.
The polling firm found DeSantis boasts stronger popularity compared to Trump among Republicans. When Republicans were asked to rate the two GOP candidates on a scale of 1 to 5, DeSantis averaged a 4.6 in score, while Trump averaged a 3.8.
But DeSantis notably also outperformed Trump among Democrats and independents, based on the General Election voter pool. In that smaller sample of voters, Democrats gave an average Trump rating of 1.2, but rated DeSantis a 1.8.
Among critical independent voters, they gave DeSantis an average rating of 3.3, higher than both Trump’s rating of 2.2 and Biden’s rating of 2.9.