New Poll: DeSantis Leads Comfortably in First GOP Primary State, Tied with Trump in Second
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is leading former President Donald Trump or competing with him in the two states that will kick off the 2024 Republican primary, new polling found.
While Trump has appeared to be the runaway winner during a number of recent national surveys, DeSantis is popular in the states that will set the tone in the upcoming primary for the nomination.
Axios reported that the results of two recent surveys signal that Florida’s recently re-elected governor could make the primary competitive if he joins the race.
The primary will begin with the Iowa Republican caucuses early next year. Voters in New Hampshire will make their voices heard soon after.
Per a recent set of polls conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm, DeSantis is leading Trump in Iowa in a potential head-to-head match by eight points.
The poll found DeSantis leading Trump 45 percent to 37 percent in the head-to-head match.
Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, the two are tied at 39 percent apiece with no other candidates in the race.
When respondents to the surveys were asked about which candidate they would support after adding former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy to the mix, DeSantis lost support.
DeSantis and Trump are tied in Iowa with other candidates in the race while the former president opens up a 12-point lead in the Granite State when other candidates are factored.
Public Opinion Strategies, which is not affiliated with any candidate or a super PAC, also found DeSantis is viewed more favorably than Trump by Republican primary voters in both states.
The poll showed DeSantis was viewed favorably by 81 percent of voters in Iowa compared to 11 percent who viewed him unfavorably.
Trump was viewed favorably by 74 percent of potential voters in the state compared to 24 who had a negative option of him.
DeSantis was also viewed more favorably in New Hampshire where 77 percent of potential voters viewed him positively compared to 15 percent who found him unfavorable.
In that state, Trump experienced a favorability rating of 69 percent while 29 percent found the country’s 45th president unfavorable.
Other candidates or potential candidates fared much worse. Neither Haley nor former Vice President Mike Pence was viewed favorably by more than 60 percent of voters in either state.
Axios, which received results from the polling exclusively from Public Opinion Strategies, cautioned the data carried a “warning sign” for DeSantis.
“There was one warning sign for DeSantis in the polling: Many Republican voters didn’t see him as the ‘best candidate to defeat Joe Biden’ — a proxy for electability,” the outlet reported.
In spite of that, respondents in both states found DeSantis more favorable in regard to personal “temperament.”
“Trump’s biggest weakness was on temperament: 68% of Iowa Republicans rated DeSantis as having a better temperament than Trump, while 71% said the same in New Hampshire,” Axios reported.
The outlet did not share the poll’s methodology.
The surveys were conducted as Trump has escalated his criticism of DeSantis, who last week returned a shot at Trump during an interview with Piers Morgan.
.@GovRonDeSantis says he prefers “Ron DeSantimonious” over “Meatball Ron” pic.twitter.com/Kuxu2ae5SA
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 22, 2023
After the TV host asked the governor which Trump nickname he most prefers out of “Ron DeSanctimonious” or “Meatball Ron,” DeSantis responded, “You can call me whatever you want, just as long as you also call me a ‘winner.'”
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