A new poll shows that Republican voters put Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at the top of deep list of politicians they want to see influence the party’s direction.
The 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 Donald 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.
But 56% of respondents also thought the party can benefit from the influence of former Vice President Mike Pence; 52% wanted South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott to have a voice at the table and half checked a box for former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Mitt Romney, of Utah, and Rep. Liz Cheney, of Wyoming, were the Republicans voters least wanted to have an influence on the party’s future direction.
In the wider poll, which sampled both Democrats and Republicans, the GOP was trusted more on key issues including the economy, inflation, and crime. Democrats led on issues such as climate change, abortion, and gun violence.
DeSantis’s position atop the poll underscores a national appeal that could lead to a 2024 presidential run. The Sunshine State governor is riding a double-digit lead in his own race for re-election, while building a record-shattering archest and collecting favors around the country as he campaigns for a host of GOP candidates for the Senate, House, and governorships.
As of last month, his operation had raised a historic $177.4 million, more than any other governor in history. Open Secrets reported that a review of state campaign finance records showed DeSantis’ re-election campaign has raised more than $31.4 million since January 2021, while DeSantis’ state-level PAC, Friends of Ron DeSantis, has raised $146 million.
Ryan Saavedra contributed to this report.