Poll shows Ron DeSantis leading Donald Trump for GOP nod in potential head-to-head matchup
Are Trump and DeSantis even talking these days?

The Suffolk University poll did not compare Trump to any other GOP contenders exploring bids.

Most Republicans prefer Gov. Ron DeSantis as a 2024 presidential nominee over former President Donald Trump. But about a third of the party remains extremely loyal to the former commander-in-chief.

That’s the findings of a Suffolk University poll conducted for the USA TODAY. The survey shows 56% of self-identified Republican voters would pick DeSantis, while 33% prefer Trump, when given the choice of just the two politicians. The polling of Republicans has a margin of error of 5.1 percentage points.

The same poll showed 31% of Republicans want Trump to run for President. Meanwhile, 61% want to see a different Republican who carries a similar agenda to Trump as the nominee instead.

By comparison, about 65% of the Republican voters polled do want DeSantis to run for President, while 24% do not.

While the poll explores the possibility of a DeSantis-Trump political duel, a number of other Republicans also appear to be exploring bids, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and others. But their names were not on the survey.

The question was part of a broader survey of 1,000 voters across the political spectrum. Of note, the poll of all voters showed just 23% who think incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden should seek another term, while 67% believe he should not. By comparison, 25% of all voters want Trump to run again and 69% think he should sit 2024 out.

Pollsters matched up potential General Election contests to see how Trump or DeSantis fared against Biden. There, the poll shows Biden ahead of Trump with about 47% support to the Republican’s 42%.

But DeSantis leads Biden 47% to 43%.

The poll of all voters had a larger sample size and thus a smaller margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Notably, the poll did not gauge electoral support for any other candidate, at least in results made public. Pollsters did gauge favorability ratings for Biden, Trump and Vice President Kamala Harris.

It found all three unpopular, but Biden in the best relative shape. About 50% of voters view the sitting President unfavorably, and less than 46% view him favorably.

But for Trump, almost 63% hold an unfavorable view and just 30% see him in a favorably light.

Harris, the most likely Democrat heir apparent if Biden did not seek re-election, is seen unfavorably by 52% of those polled, and favorably by just 36%.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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