Florida’s Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, has gained a popularity edge over former US President Donald Trump in a potential race for the 2024 presidential nomination of the GOP.
This is what a new public opinion poll has found, in a remarkable development throughout the 2022 midterm election.
Trump Still Doing Better Among ‘Strong Republicans’
The reversal occurred after DeSantis had just won reelection as Florida’s Governor with an almost 20-point lead over his Democrat opponent, Rep. Charlie Crist. At the same time, Trump saw many of the candidates he endorsed for the midterms perform below expectations – such as Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.
A new survey by YouGov shows that a total of 42% of Republican and right-leaning voters would like the 2024 presidential nomination to go to Ron DeSantis, while 35% prefer it to go to former GOP President Donald Trump.
DeSantis’s lead of seven percentage points is markedly different from the poll results from a month ago, which showed Trump having a 10-point lead over him for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
The new YouGov poll is the first since 2016 to show Trump’s hold over the Republican Party is weakening.
The survey questioned 1,500 American voters during the three days after Tuesday’s midterm election. Among the respondents, 413 identified as GOP supporters.
However, among those identifying as “strong Republicans,” Trump was still in the lead, with 45% support.
DeSantis fared better in the other GOP voter categories. Among “not very strong Republicans,” he got 38% support vs. 31% for Trump.
The Florida governor’s support was even greater among “Republican leaners,” with 45% of that group considering him the best choice for the 2024 presidential nomination of the GOP. Trump received only 21% support in that category.
UNITED STATES: Ron DeSantis has seven-point lead over Donald Trump among Republican and Republican-leaning voters for presidential nomination, according to YouGov poll.
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) November 13, 2022
The 2022 midterm sent shockwaves through the GOP, and for the first time, Donald Trump trails Ron DeSantis in a 2024 GOP Primary poll. YouGov found DeSantis leading Trump 42% to 35%. pic.twitter.com/lCSHnLmkVE
— Logan Phillips (@LoganR2WH) November 12, 2022
Trump Has Been No. 1 in GOP since February 2016
Neither Trump nor DeSantis has announced their official candidacies for the next US presidential election.
The former, however, has been teasing a 2024 presidential run almost since leaving the White House in January 2021. He recently said he’d be making a “big announcement” on November 15, which may be when he may make his candidacy official.
On the other hand, DeSantis has never even hinted that he might wish to run for President of the United States, so speculations to that end have been fueled primarily by his popularity.
Nevertheless, over the past week, Trump attacked DeSantis twice in just a few days.
He first called him the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious,” and then put out a statement claiming credit for the rise of Florida’s Governor, whom Trump indeed endorsed in the 2018 election.
Then, on the day of the midterm election, POTUS 45 told hinted before reporters that he could release compromising information about DeSantis and warned that Florida’s Governor would “hurt himself very badly” should he decide to run for the GOP presidential nomination.
The preceding YouGov poll conducted in October gave Trump 45% support among GOP voters, with 35% for DeSantis.
The last time Trump was beaten in a poll for the most popular Republican figure was in February 2016, more than six-and-a-half years ago, when a survey by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News gave Texas US Senator Ted Cruz a two-point lead over him.
NEW: More Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents now say they'd prefer DeSantis (42%) as their 2024 presidential nominee over Trump than say they'd prefer Trump to DeSantis (35%). In an October poll w/@YahooNews, Trump was preferred, 45% to 35%.https://t.co/DKd1ugnNrs pic.twitter.com/i1OtpLVASJ
— YouGov America (@YouGovAmerica) November 12, 2022
This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.