New poll finds Biden trailing DeSantis as fewer than half of GOP voters want Trump on 2024 ballot

Fewer than half of Republican and Democratic voters want Mr Trump and Mr Biden to run in their respective 2024 party primaries

Andrew Feinberg
Tuesday 13 December 2022 14:56 GMT
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A newly released poll shows Ron DeSantis leading a hypothetical 2024 matchup against President Joe Biden, with the Florida governor’s support among Republicans remaining high as enthusiasm for former president Donald Trump’s third campaign for the presidency continues to wane.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted by Suffolk University for USA Today shows Mr Biden ahead in a general election rematch with the man he defeated in the 2020 election, by a margin of 47 per cent to 40 per cent. That’s a two-point increase in the president’s hypothetical lead from a Suffolk/USA Today poll of likely midterm voters conducted in October.

Mr Biden’s favourable rating among survey respondents increased by a single percentage point to 46 per cent of respondents viewing him favourably, with his unfavourable rating dropping a point to 50 per cent. Yet at the same time, just four in ten respondents who identified themselves as Democrats want him to be a candidate for reelection in 2024.

The former president’s intention to run for a second nonconsecutive term is also viewed unfavourably by many GOP voters, with just 47 per cent of Republicans reporting themselves to be desirous of a third Trump candidacy and 45 per cent saying they don’t want him to run once more.

Instead, it is Mr DeSantis who is the preferred candidate of more than six in ten self-identified GOP voters, with 65 per cent responding that they want to see him on a presidential ballot line in two years. Fewer than a quarter of Republicans — 24 per cent — say they don’t want Mr DeSantis to run for president in 2024.

While the Florida governor appears to be a putative front-runner in a possible 2024 matchup against Mr Biden, it’s not yet clear that he would triumph in a nomination fight against Mr Trump.

Because of the way the Republican Party allocates delegates for its’ quadrennial nominating convention, Mr DeSantis would have to best Mr Trump in a significant number of primary election contests.

That may be a possibility in a head-to-head fight against the twice-impeached ex-president, but a crowded primary field gives a considerable advantage to Mr Trump, who continues to garner support of roughly a third of GOP primary voters.

In a crowded 2024 primary scenario — even one less crowded than 17-way 2016 race won by Mr Trump — the ex-president would theoretically be able to garner a significant lead in delegates with just a plurality of votes.

Although the ex-president is currently the only Republican who has officially declared himself a candidate in the next presidential election, a host of GOP bigwigs have signaled a desire to throw their hats into the ring, including his former vice president, Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and anti-Trump ex-Maryland governor Larry Hogan.

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