Florida Voters Weigh in on 2024 Primary Showdown Between Trump and DeSantis

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s stock amongst Republican voters nationwide has skyrocketed over the past few years, and he is seen as an inevitable contender for the GOP nomination for president, should he choose to run. The big not-so-wildcard, however, is Donald Trump. Polls have shown that Trump supporters are overwhelmingly warm to him finishing what he started in his first term. Trump himself has said that there are potential GOP candidates for president who are waiting for him to make his move first so as to avoid a bitter primary with the popular former president.

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But as DeSantis’s profile has increased (particularly due to his effectiveness in challenging the left on key issues, from parental rights to immigration), GOP voters are definitely starting to see DeSantis as an alternative to Trump in 2024, and no poll shows that better than the latest 2024 GOP primary matchup poll out of Florida.

Related: I’m Still Torn About Trump and DeSantis in 2024

According to a new USA Today/Suffolk poll, in a hypothetical 2024 GOP primary matchup, DeSantis beats Trump 48% to 40%. Well, Florida is DeSantis’s home state. Of course he’d lead there, right? Well, sure, that’s one way to look at it. But back in January, the same poll found Trump leading 47% to 40%. Florida voters’ preferences have shifted significantly over the course of this year.

Both would defeat Biden in a general election matchup, but DeSantis would defeat Biden by a larger margin

“This doesn’t necessarily mean DeSantis would lead in any other GOP primary state,” David Paleologos, the director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said. “But it is one data point suggesting a shift in preferences from GOP voters away from Trump and toward DeSantis from Republicans who know both potential combatants quite well.”

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