December 8, 2022

  • Florida Republicans prefer DeSantis over Trump for the 2024 White House ticket.
  • This is a reversal from a similar survey in January.
  • The results are part of a USA Today/Suffolk University survey.

Florida Republicans have a new favorite from Florida they want on top of their next White House ticket.

According to a USA Today/Suffolk University survey published Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis leads former President Donald Trump by 48% to 40% in the hypothetical 2024 presidential primary.

This is a reflection of a similar poll in January, where Trump outperformed DeSantis by 47% to 40%.

“Donald Trump’s delay in competing with another Republican is a radical change,” David Paleologos, director of the Center for Policy Research at Suffolk University, said in a statement.

Paleologos said Wednesday’s results are significant given that during the 2016 primaries, Trump easily defeated Senator Marco Rubio on his home ground, dropping 46% to 27%.

The results are only for one state, but they inject more heat into one of the most talked-about topics in American politics: whether DeSantis will enter a presidential race against Trump, the man who catapulted him to the top of the Florida gubernatorial primary in 2018.

DeSantis did not say if the White House is in his sights and is ready for re-election in Florida on November 8. He will face Democrat Charlie Crist, who recently resigned from Congress and was governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011, when he was a Republican.

This race looks promising for DeSantis. The USA Today/Suffolk University Poll DeSantis is expected to win re-election by a 7-point margin of 48% to 41%.

The survey found strong progress for DeSantis even though respondents reported feeling that economic conditions in Florida had worsened – only 37% of voters He said Florida’s economy was “excellent” or “good,” down 10 points from January.

Half of voters said they were “worse off” than they were four years ago, although the poll did not assess whether voters blame the DeSantis or Biden administrations for their economic hardship. It found that DeSantis has a higher approval rating than Biden in Florida, from 53% to 42%.

Should DeSantis advance significantly against Crist, it would be a major turnaround for the GOP governor. Just four years ago he entered the governor’s mansion by just half a percentage point against Democratic challenger Andrew Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee.

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump.

AP Photo/Joe Maiorana, File

Trump support declines in his new home

The poll shows that support for Trump may be waning, at least in the Sunshine State. Researchers conducted the telephone poll from September 15-18, and included 500 voters.

Trump describes Florida as his permanent home, although – as is customary – he spent the summer on the Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course, and at Trump Tower in New York City.

The FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, in August, revealing classified documents that Justice Department officials said Trump was not allowed to have. And on Sunday evening, Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social, that he had come to Mar-a-Lago to “check the scene.”

While Trump’s legal troubles have kept him in the news, DeSantis frequently makes national headlines. The most recent was last week when he directed state resources to airlift immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

The move appears to have caught the attention of Trump, who has made immigration restrictions one of his defining issues as president. On Saturday, Trump shared an insider interview on the Truth Social with Republican John Thomas, who said DeSantis would undermine his political career if he ran against Trump.

DeSantis’ frequent national headlines, massive fundraising runs, and regular disagreements with the Biden administration have many political activists speculating that he will run for the White House. However, the conventional wisdom is that Trump would become the nominee if he were to launch another campaign in the White House, something that has been bothering him for more than a year.

The poll found that Trump already has an advantage among some Florida voters. DeSantis led 53% to 36% among voters who earn less than $50,000 a year, and 57% to 27% among voters who did not attend college.

It’s not clear that Trump can beat President Joe Biden nationally, though the poll found that Florida residents still preferred him over the current president.

The USA Today/Suffolk University Poll It found that Trump would defeat Biden in Florida by 47% to 44% in a hypothetical match. Margins were wider if DeSantis faced Biden, at 52% to 44%.

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