How Does Donald Trump Turn This Around?

AP Photo/Chris Seward

Trump may be the first (and currently only) declared Republican candidate for president in 2024, but if he thought he’d be able to slide right into the nomination, he’s got another think coming.

Trump likes to talk about poll results when they make him look good, but recently there have been a couple of polls that you can bet he won’t be quoting at rallies. First, a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll shows that support for Trump is starting to collapse and threatens to alter the entire dynamic of the 2024 election.

According to the poll, 61% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents would prefer another candidate besides Trump to run in 2024. The poll found that these voters are now more inclined to support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In this poll, DeSantis leads Trump 56% to 33% in a head-to-head primary matchup.

“Republicans and conservative independents increasingly want Trumpism without Trump,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center​, told USA Today.

But this isn’t the only poll that suggests trouble lies ahead for Trump.

A poll released by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday found that Gov. Ron DeSantis enjoys greater support from Republican primary voters than former President Donald Trump does as a possible candidate for 2024.

This poll found that Republican primary voters pick Ron DeSantis over Donald Trump by a margin of 52% to 38% — similar results as the USA Today poll. The WSJ poll also revealed that DeSantis has an edge with voters who will “definitely” vote for their candidate, with 36% of respondents saying they would “definitely” vote for DeSantis and 29% saying they would “definitely” vote for Trump.

Furthermore, DeSantis enjoys higher approval ratings than Trump does. While both have high approval ratings within the party, among Republican voters who said that they intend to participate in the Republican primaries, 86% view DeSantis favorably but only 74% view Trump favorably. Amongst all registered voters, DeSantis beats Trump in favorability 43% to 36%.

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The big problem for Trump in this poll is how his approval ratings have dropped in the Wall Street Journal poll. In November 2021, Trump had an 85% approval rating among Republicans — a full 11 points higher than today. Trump’s unfavorable ratings have also jumped among Republican voters, going from 13% last year to 23% now.

Trump has previously expressed confidence that he would beat Ron DeSantis if he chooses to run in 2024. “If I faced [DeSantis], I’d beat him like I would beat everyone else,” Trump said last year. That may have been the case then, but it’s not anymore.

The question is whether Trump can turn things around. I don’t have much faith in him being able to do it. It is obvious that he believes he is entitled to the Republican candidacy in 2024. Nevertheless, regardless of whether you are willing to recognize it or not, he brings a lot of baggage with him. Two years ago, Donald Trump was the only potential candidate for president in the year 2024 whom I would have seriously considered supporting. However, since then, he has successfully managed to make Ron DeSantis more enticing. Trump was a capable leader, but he was often his own greatest enemy, and he continues to be.


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