Poll: Nearly One-Third Say DeSantis Should Only Run for President if Trump Does Not

DALLAS, TEXAS - JULY 11: Former U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to speak during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world …
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Nearly one-third of voters say Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis should only run for president in 2024 if former President Donald Trump decides not to, an Echelon Insights survey released this week found.

The survey, taken January 21-23, 2022, among 1,029 national registered voters, asked Republicans and Republican-leaning voters who they would vote for in the primary race if Trump did not run, resulting in a lead for DeSantis, who headed the pack in that scenario with 28 percentage points. Only two other hypothetical candidates garnered double-digit support — former Vice President Mike Pence (16 percent) and Donald Trump Jr. (11 percent). 

However, the survey then asked, “If the 2024 Republican presidential primaries were being held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote?” giving voters a choice between Trump and DeSantis. In that scenario, Trump leads by double digits — 57 percent to DeSantis’s 32 percent. Of those, 41 percent said they would “definitely” vote for Trump, compared to 17 percent who said they would “definitely” vote for the Florida governor. 

The survey then asked voters, “Which of the following comes closest to your view, even if none are exactly right?  Ron DeSantis should…” and presented the following choices:

  • Run for President in 2024, regardless of if Donald Trump runs or not
  • Run for President in 2024, only if Donald Trump does not run
  • Not run for President
  • Unsure 

Nearly one-third, 31 percent, said DeSantis should only run if Trump decides not to, while 26 percent said he should run in 2024 “regardless of if Donald Trump runs or not.” Another 18 percent said he should not run for president, while a quarter remain unsure. 

Neither DeSantis nor Trump has announced they are running for president, although Trump has hinted that it is on the radar, quipping on the golf course this week that he is both the “45th and 47th” president.

Notably, a Harvard-Harris poll released this week showed that a majority of voters believe Trump is a better president than Biden, 53 percent to 47 percent.

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