DeSantis has seven-point lead over Trump for 2024 primary, new poll finds

Florida governor has support of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire after mogul appeared to dump Trump

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Sunday 13 November 2022 20:02 GMT
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Donald Trump says he voted for Governor DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a seven-point lead over Donald Trump in a 2024 presidential primary race, according to a new national poll.

Mr Trump is expected to announce he is running for the White House again this week as Republicans come to term with poor midterm election results that massively underperformed their expectations.

A “red wave” never materialised with Democrats actually gaining a US Senate seat and a runoff in Georgia in December that could potentially hand them another one.

Mr DeSantis easily won his own race but a string of Trump-endorsed candidates were beaten, which helped the Democrats to retain control of the US Senate and has left the House still too close to call.

The Florida politician has also seemingly gained the support of Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing media empire, with the previously loyal New York Post branding the former president “Trumpty Dumpty” in a scathing front page.

The YouGov poll, which was released on Friday, found that 42 per cent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents prefer Mr DeSantis to Mr Trump as the party’s 2024 presidential nominee.

It found that 35 per cent of those surveyed still supported the one-term president.

The election seemingly had a major impact on the results, as three weeks before the election YouGov found that 45 per cent of Republican voters supported Mr Trump to 35 per cent for Mr DeSantis, who won his own election by 19 per cent.

The last time any national survey found a Republican politician with more primary support than Mr Trump was a February 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll when Senator Ted Cruz of Texas lead him by two per cent.

Lat week, Mr Trump attacked Mr DeSantis on Truth Social and branded him an “average” Republican who owes his political success to his endorsement in the 2018 governor’s race.

“The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, ‘I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future,’” Mr Trump said. “Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer.”

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