A new Wall Street Journal poll buttresses the claim that Florida GOP governor Ron DeSantis has risen to be the clear favorite for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
The Journal poll was the second poll in two days to show DeSantis with a commanding lead over former President Trump. On Tuesday, The USA Today-Suffolk University poll showed DeSantis leading Trump by a whopping 23 points among Republican voters, as 56% of respondents preferred DeSantis as the 2024 GOP presidential nominee while only 33% preferred Trump. The poll also found that among all voters, in a head-to-head matchup with President Biden, DeSantis came out ahead by four points, 47% to 43%, but Biden led Trump by seven points, 47%-40%.
The Journal poll that came out Wednesday found DeSantis leading Trump among Republicans 52% to 38%. 86% of respondents had a favorable view of DeSantis; 74% had a favorable view of Trump.
The Journal poll found 43% of all voters viewed DeSantis favorably; 36% viewed Trump the same way.
DeSantis led Trump among college-educated, suburban and urban voters; Trump led among voters with a high school education or less.
Polls of the initial primary states for 2024 show DeSantis may take charge early in the race. A late-November poll from Iowa, where the presidential primary season gets underway every four years with the Iowa caucuses, showed Iowa Republicans had swung strongly toward DeSantis as their leading presidential candidate for 2024.
The Neighborhood Research and Media poll showed 32% of respondents selected DeSantis as their first choice to run for president, followed by Trump at 30%. The poll reflected a mammoth 23-point swing toward DeSantis from June when Trump was the favorite among 38% of respondents and DeSantis was favored by only 17%, and an even bigger 46% reversal from November 2021, when Trump led 56%-12%.
“With support barely half what it was a year ago in a time when DeSantis’s vote has nearly tripled, Trump becomes a severe underdog in the race,” Rick Shaftan of Neighborhood Research and Media commented.
In mid-November, multiple Club for Growth Action polls were conducted in various states; in Iowa, 48% of respondents preferred DeSantis as their 2024 presidential nominee; 37% preferred Trump.
In New Hampshire, which conducts its primary next after the Iowa presidential caucuses, 52% of respondents preferred DeSantis, while 37% preferred Trump.
In the influential state of Texas, a mid-November survey by the Texas Republican Party found 43% of respondents preferred DeSantis as their 2024 standard-bearer compared to 32% who preferred Trump. Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi tweeted after DeSantis’ crushing victory in the Florida gubernatorial race in November, “Ron DeSantis and his optimistic brand of bold and unapologetic conservatism is a winning brand and the GOP should take note.”
An ABC News/Ipsos poll, conducted on October 21-22, asked voters how much influence various famous Republicans should have on the future direction of the Republican Party. Some 72% of respondents named the Florida governor as someone they would like to have a “great deal or good amount” of influence over the future direction of the party.
Former President Trump and Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz ran second and third, neck and neck, as 64% of respondents thought Trump should have influence while 63% of respondents chose Cruz.