Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) would beat President Biden if the 2024 presidential election were held today, according to a recent poll.
DeSantis is also the preferred nominee of Republican-leaning voters by double-digits, according to the USA Today/Suffolk University survey.
DeSantis beats Biden in poll
The poll shows former President Trump losing to Biden by seven points, 47-40, while DeSantis would beat Biden 47-43. DeSantis also leads Trump among Republican and Republican-leaning voters in the poll by 23 points. The poll was taken from December 7 to 11 and has an error margin of 3 points.
“Republicans and conservative independents increasingly want Trumpism without Trump,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
The widely publicized poll has been cited by detractors of President Trump on the left and the right, who have argued the midterm election results repudiated Trump as the leader of the party.
But the Suffolk University pollster cautioned that DeSantis may struggle against Trump in a crowded field of candidates.
“Add in a number of other Republican presidential candidates who would divide the anti-Trump vote and you have a recipe for a repeat of the 2016 Republican caucuses and primaries,” he said.
Trump himself dismissed the “dying and very sickly USA Today,” in a social media post blasting unfavorable polling as “fake news.”
“We are leading by a lot, despite the never ending Communist (Democrat) WEAPONIZED ATTACKS on me and the GREAT PATRIOTS OF MAGA. More to come!!!” he wrote.
Some polls have been more favorable to Trump, including a Harvard/Harris poll that found Trump leading Biden by five points and besting DeSantis by 23 points in a crowded primary battle. If Trump and DeSantis go head-to-head, Trump wins the GOP base but loses in an open primary by 4 points.
End of the road for Trump?
DeSantis also beats Biden in the poll by four points, and he easily leads a Trump-less primary battle with 48 percent.
While DeSantis has not thrown his hat in the ring, he has made apparent efforts to outflank Trump, who declared a third White House bid in November under threat of prosecution from the Biden administration.
There is growing speculation that Trump may be forced out of the running by his enemies after the January 6th committee formally urged Biden’s Justice Department Monday to bring charges against the former president.
But Trump said the move would only strengthen his support with the Republican base, adding, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”