Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tops former President Donald Trump nationwide in a hypothetical matchup in the 2024 GOP White House primary in yet another survey fielded this month, suggesting the former president’s slippage in the polls is more than fleeting.
DeSantis led Trump 52% to 38% in a poll for the Wall Street Journal conducted jointly by Democratic pollster John Anzalone, an adviser to President Joe Biden, and Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, who is doing survey work for a pro-Trump super PAC. The poll also showed DeSantis with higher favorable numbers (86%) than Trump (74%) among Republican voters, another ominous sign for the former president, who launched his 2024 bid last month.
“It’s going to be a competitive primary,” Fabrizio told the Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper’s poll was reported Wednesday, one day after a Suffolk University survey for USA Today was revealed showing DeSantis leading Trump 56% to 33% among Republican voters nationwide. Although Trump is the only announced Republican presidential candidate for the 2024 nomination, this survey showed that 61% would prefer an alternative standard-bearer, while 31% are sticking in the former president’s corner.
All told, the USA Today and Wall Street Journal polls suggest Republican voters’ support for DeSantis over Trump is continuing to build in the wake of the GOP’s disappointing performance in the midterm elections. Many Republicans are blaming that outcome on the former president, saying his focus on relitigating the 2020 election hurt the party’s message on the economy and public safety. Trump also is under fire for endorsing flawed candidates in GOP primaries.
Meanwhile, DeSantis was reelected in a landslide, with his coattails lifting Republicans to victory down the ticket in races across Florida.
If Trump can take anything away from the Wall Street Journal poll, it’s that he continues to hold on to a third of the Republican electorate, suggesting his high floor of support remains intact despite myriad setbacks. Additionally, the survey’s margin of error for the Republican voters sampled was a high 6 percentage points. Overall, Anzalone and Fabrizio polled 1,500 registered voters nationwide. The error margin for the full survey was 2.5 points.
Additional findings from the poll include:
Trump led former Vice President Mike Pence in a hypothetical GOP primary matchup, 63% to 28%. Among self-described “very conservative” Republican voters, Trump led DeSantis, 54% to 38%. Among self-described “somewhat conservative” Republican voters, DeSantis led Trump, 59% to 29%. In a rematch of the 2020 general election, Biden led Trump 45% to 43%, with 12% undecided.