DeSantis Shown Leading Trump and Republican Contenders in Latest 2024 Polls
Just two months into 2023, the 2024 presidential race is starting to fill up, especially in the Republican field. But new polling shows Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as the frontrunner, even against eight other candidates.
President Trump announced his long-expected run directly after the 2022 midterms. After a few months unchallenged, his former Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, also jumped in. Last week, investment firm manager Vivek Ramaswamy threw his hat in the ring.
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However, all the buzz surrounds Trump in a match-up with a challenger who has not announced yet: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
An early poll of likely GOP voters conducted by WPA Intelligence put DeSantis as the frontrunner of the field of potential Republican candidates. WPA is a polling and analysis firm that has provided polling to some of the most prominent conservative names, assisting Ted Cruz with his 2016 presidential run and Glenn Youngkins Gubernatorial election in Virginia.
This latest poll took a sample of 1,000 verified GOP voters to see how the Republican primaries will eventually shake out. While conventional wisdom indicates that the more full the field becomes, the better chance Trump has of winning, like in 2016, the poll shows DeSantis with a commanding lead even in a crowded list of options.
According to the poll, DeSantis stands with 40% of the vote, with Trump, the next closest competitor, trailing by 9 points with 31%. After that, there’s a steep drop off in contenders’ standings.
Our latest national poll of Republican primary voters:
T. Scott <1%
Sample: 1,000 verified GOP primary voters. Conducted February 13-16.
— WPA Intelligence (@WPAIntel) February 23, 2023
Vivek Ramaswamy does not appear on the list as the poll was conducted from February 13 to 16, before his announcement. His impact on the standings, if any, is not considered here.
Despite the results, Trump’s numbers align with conventional wisdom, with the former president retaining his unshakeable third of the Republican base. The issue is that other challengers cannot peel off enough of DeSantis’ support to give Trump the victory. Although it should be noted as the race heats up and campaigns begin in earnest, this is subject to wild change.
The same poll also analyzed a Trump-DeSantis head-to-head, and it only grows the Governor’s advantage.
According to Red State, the WPA reports a two-way match-up, with DeSantis picking up more leftover votes than Trump, jumping 15 points from 40% to 55%. Conversely, Trump only jumps 6 points, from 31% to 37%, trailing DeSantis by 18 points.
Ron DeSantis: 55%
Donald Trump: 37%
However, the WPA Tweet Red State referenced for the data has since been deleted.
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A recent NPR poll offers a more detailed picture. It found that Trump is favored by white evangelical Christians, white people without degrees, those who live in small towns or rural areas, and lower-income voters. Conversely, those who prefer DeSantis are college graduates, those who make more than $50,000 a year, people who live in big cities or the suburbs, and Republican-leaning independents. That last demographic, leaning independents, may explain DeSantis’ advantage in a one-on-one match-up with the former president.
However, it should not be forgotten that it’s a long way to Election season, and as more competitors jump in officially and as Trump ramps up his rhetoric, the numbers are likely to change.
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