A new poll has Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) topping President Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2024 matchup for the U.S. presidency.
The poll comes from USA TODAY and Suffolk University. The pollster surveyed 1,000 registered voters between Dec. 7 and Dec. 11. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
One of the big findings of the poll is that Biden is now trailing DeSantis in a head-to-head presidential matchup by a margin of 47% to 43%.
According to USA Today, this appears to be more the result of DeSantis’ growing popularity than Biden’s declining popularity.
The outlet reports:
Since October, [Biden’s] favorable rating has ticked up a percentage point, to 46%, and his unfavorable rating is down a point, to 50%. But support among Democrats for him to seek a second term has declined, to 40% from 45%. Among all voters, just 23% want him to run again.
In contrast, DeSantis’s popularity only seems to be growing. The poll found that 65% of “Republican-leaning voters” now want DeSantis to run for president in 2024.
DeSantis has been on a hot streak ever since he and several other Florida Republicans sailed to victory in their midterm election races. DeSantis, himself, beat his opponent – Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) – by a margin of 1.5 million votes.
DeSantis had already been gaining support from Republicans leading up to the midterm elections. But, prior to these elections, former President Donald Trump still maintained his grip over the Republican Party.
Now, if recent polling is to be believed, DeSantis has closed the gap on Trump. In fact, some polls even have DeSantis now ahead of Trump for the 2024 Republican primary.
This change appears to be the result not only of DeSantis’s success in the midterm but Trump’s perceived lack of success in the midterms.
Many Republicans are trying to use the Republicans’ less-than-spectacular performance in the midterms as evidence that Trump is no longer a viable candidate. It’s not the most convincing argument considering that candidates that Trump endorsed overwhelmingly emerged victorious in the midterms. But, it’s the argument that many are making.
Trump v. Biden
What the USA Today poll shows is that, in contrast to DeSantis, Trump would not be favored to beat Biden were the 2024 presidential election to be held today. The poll has Trump trailing Biden by a margin of 47% to 40%.
It’s worth mentioning that, while Trump has announced his 2024 candidacy, DeSantis has not, and it remains unclear whether or not he intends to do so. If he does, this will set up a 2024 Republican Primary matchup between DeSantis and Trump. And, while some current polls have Trump winning that matchup, while other polls have DeSantis.
USA Today found:
By 2-1, GOP and GOP-leaning voters now say they want Trump’s policies but a different standard-bearer to carry them. While 31% want the former president to run, 61% prefer some other Republican nominee who would continue the policies Trump has pursued.