Former President Donald Trump is up double digits against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in a hypothetical 2024 presidential primary matchup, a recently released Florida Atlantic University/Mainstreet Research survey found.
The survey, taken between April 13 and 14, 2023, found 59 percent of registered Republicans choose Trump as their nominee of choice, while 31 percent choose DeSantis, giving Trump a 28-point advantage:
2024 Florida Republican Primary:
Trump 59% (+28)
Mainstreet Research/Florida Atlantic University, RV, 4/13-14https://t.co/3qWwjVUzsk
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) May 12, 2023
Further, the survey found 87 percent of registered Republican voters in Florida at least somewhat support Trump in the 2024 primary, despite looming legal woes.
However, the poll reveals regional and generational gaps among Republican voters. Trump wins decisively against DeSantis in the Tampa Bay area (69 percent for Trump vs. 22 percent for DeSantis); in southwest Florida (80 percent for Trump vs. 7 percent for DeSantis); and in Palm Beach County (65 percent for Trump vs. 33 percent for DeSantis). However, in northwest Florida, Trump and DeSantis tie with 43 percent each. As for the generational gap, Trump wins 66 percent of support among voters who are 50 to 64 years old, while his support among younger voters (18 to 34) is 40 percent.
Luzmarina Garcia, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at FAU, noted that none of the other GOP candidates are polling close to Trump or DeSantis, concluding that it looks like “a two-man race.”
“However, even this early in the race, the vast majority of Republican respondents indicated that they had made up their minds for a presidential candidate,” Garcia observed.
As is true in other parts of the country, Florida Republicans listed the economy as the most important area of concern, followed by immigration.
The survey, taken among 1,081 registered voters on April 3 and 14, has a +/- 3 percent margin of error. It coincides with a recent National Research Inc. survey, commissioned by American Greatness, which also found Trump leading DeSantis in their home state.
As Breitbart News reported:
The latest National Research Inc. survey, conducted among 500 likely GOP primary voters in Florida, found the former president leading his closest potential challenger by eight percent, or 42 percent to 34 percent, in Florida.
No other potential challenger comes remotely close, as former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and anti-woke businessman Vivek Ramaswamy all saw two percent support. Everyone else listed — including Sen. Tim Scott, who is expected to make a presidential announcement May 22 — saw one percent support or less.
Another 16 percent indicated that they are unsure or refused to answer:
2024 Florida Republican Primary
Trump — 42% (+8)
DeSantis — 34%
Ramaswamy — 2%
Haley — 2%
Pence — 2%
T. Scott — 1
Sununu — 1%
Undecided — 16%
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) May 11, 2023
Notably, that survey was taken nearly a month later — May 8-9, 2023.
DeSantis has yet to officially reveal his political intentions, spending the majority of the week signing legislation — focusing on issues from immigration to coronavirus mandates and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) — as the state’s legislative session officially ended last week, fueling further speculation about the governor’s political future.
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