Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis beats former President Donald Trump in a hypothetical Republican 2024 presidential primary contest in the Sunshine State, according to a poll released Tuesday by the University of North Florida’s (UNF) Public Opinion Research Lab.
In the survey of registered Republicans, DeSantis had the backing of 47% of respondents, compared to 45% who would vote for Trump and 7% who said they would back someone else.
Other results from the poll:
- When asked how they would characterize the personal relationship between DeSantis and Trump, 47% of the respondents said they were acquaintances, 42% characterized them as friends, and 8% said they think they are enemies.
- In the race this November for governor, DeSantis defeats by similar margins Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist, the two Democrats battling it out in the primary to be their party’s candidate. If pitted against Fried, DeSantis receives 50% support and Fried 43%, with 5% saying they would chose someone else.
- If he went up against Crist, DeSantis gets 50% backing and Crist 42%, while 6% said they would vote for someone else.
Dr. Michael Binder, a UNF professor of political science, said "DeSantis and Trump are the two most popular Republican names being discussed for 2024, and DeSantis is edging him out in their home state."
Binder added that "people are split on whether Trump and DeSantis are friends or merely acquaintances; I guess we'll really find out after the midterms and the 2024 race starts to heat up."
DeSantis' national profile has continued on an upward trend as he has weighed in on several of the nation’s culture wars, according to The Hill.
He is also traveling to battleground states this month to convince the electorate to back several candidates endorsed by Trump.
The poll was conducted Aug. 8-12 through a weighted sample of 1,624 registered voters using an online survey platform. The margin of error for questions asked to all respondents is 3.4 percentage points.
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