Another poll shows DeSantis leading Trump in a 2024 matchup (by a wide margin)

Source: Hot Air

Last week I pointed out that a Forbes poll found that former President Trump’s support for another run in 2024 had been declining while support for Gov. Ron DeSantis had been increasing. In August, support for Trump peaked at 57% while DeSantis was at 18%. But just prior to the election those numbers had shifted.

The poll, conducted before Tuesday’s midterms from November 2-7, found 48% of potential Republican primary voters would support Trump if the primaries were held today, versus 26% who’d back DeSantis and 26% who want to vote for someone else.

This morning Ed wrote about a YouGov poll which was taken last week immediately after the elections. That poll found the numbers had flipped with 42% of respondents saying they preferred DeSantis and 35% favoring Trump.

This afternoon the Club for Growth has released its own poll which found similar results in a number of states. Here’s a list showing the current results compared to where a poll in August had each candidate.

It’s a double-digit advantage in every state and in Florida it’s a blowout. The Club for Growth wasn’t shy about drawing conclusions.

“Republicans need to be united behind a strong candidate and a platform that shows voters real solutions to beat Biden and the Democrats in 2024. Our polling shows that Republican primary voters recognize Trump’s insults against Republicans as hollow and counterproductive, and it’s taking a significant toll on his support,” Club for Growth president David McIntosh said in a statement.

The polling, McIntosh added, suggested that Trump “could help Republicans” by delaying his expected Tuesday announcement that he’s running for president until after the Georgia runoff.

The Club’s decision to move against Trump is part of a rising tide of dissent within the GOP. While the former president maintains a base of support, a number of figures in the party are blaming him for Republicans’ weaker-than-expected showing in the midterms, arguing that it’s time to move on.

A spokesman for MAGA, Inc. brushed aside the polling.

“Sadly, many conservative donors have been hoodwinked by the Club for Growth as they’ve funneled millions of dollars into losing candidates,” Budowich said. “Their polling is consistently wrong, seemingly cooked up for the sole purpose of squeezing an extra seven-figure contribution out of trusting benefactors — and looking back at 2022, what do they have to show for it?”

“When they cross Trump, they lose, and that’s not going to change,” Budowich added, referring to the Club for Growth’s failure to defeat Trump-endorsed Senate candidates in states including Ohio and Pennsylvania.

They can shrug off the Club for Growth polling but it’s the second one today showing DeSantis with a lead. Of course as Ed pointed out this morning, the real 2024 primary won’t be a two person race. Just because DeSantis can win in a theoretical head-to-head matchup doesn’t necessarily mean he can win in a crowded field.

Then again, maybe he can do that too. A Texas GOP poll taken this weekend asked respondents who they would vote for for president if the primary were held today. The choices were Trump, DeSantis, Tim Scott, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley and Mike Pence. The results still show DeSantis leading Trump 43 to 32. It’s still a double-digit lead.

But the most worrisome part of that poll for Trump may be the second question. Asked who they would vote for if Trump wasn’t in the race, DeSantis shot up to 66%. That suggests (to me at least) that about 2/3 of the Trump voters currently see DeSantis as their second choice. It’ll be interesting to see if Trump can convince them that “DeSanctimonious” is the enemy of MAGA.

Of course a poll isn’t a real primary. Just because people think this is how they would vote now doesn’t mean that will hold up a year from now. But I do think the people who see Trump’s 2024 run as a coronation are going to be in for more of a battle than they anticipated as recently as a month ago.