Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and former Vice President Mike Pence are tied for “second choice” in a hypothetical 2024 Republican matchup, a survey from GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio found.
Former President Trump continues to dominate among the hypothetical 2024 GOP field with 51 percent support, followed by Pence (nine percent), DeSantis (seven percent), and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley (six percent).
However, voters were separately asked to choose their “second choice” to vote for in the Republican Primary for president. The results showed both DeSantis and Pence tied, garnering 22 percent support each. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) came in third with 19 percent. No other candidate, which included former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R), Haley, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Gov. Larry Hogan (R), and former Gov. Chris Christie (R), saw double-digit support.
Notably, Pence leads in a scenario absent of Trump, garnering 19 percent support. DeSantis follows with 17 percent, but that is within the survey’s +/- 2.7 percent margin of error. Cruz, Haley, and Romney follow with 13 percent, 8 percent, and 5 percent, respectively.
Fabrizio said, at this point, it is “clear” former Trump’s supporters will “gravitate towards” candidates such as Pence, DeSantis, and Cruz if he chooses not to run.
“No question at this juncture that President Trump would dominate the 2024 field with no potential challenger even breaking onto double digits,” Fabrizio said, according to Politico.
DeSantis’s rise, particularly, comes as he continues to lead the way in championing an open and free state as many blue states continue to keep coronavirus restrictions in place.
“There are not a whole lot of Floridians who are itching to move from Florida to lockdown states, but there are thousands and thousands of people who are seeking to leave the lockdowns behind for the greener pastures in Florida,” the Republican governor said during this week’s State of the State address.
“We have long been known as the Sunshine State – but, given the unprecedented lockdowns we have witnessed in other states, I think the Florida sun now serves as a beacon of light to those who yearn for freedom,” he added.
This week, Texas and Mississippi announced they, too, will lift mask mandates and other business restrictions in their respective states.