Trump doubles support over DeSantis in hypothetical Arizona matchup
A new poll of GOP voters in Arizona shows former President Donald Trump with more than double the support of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a hypothetical primary head-to-head matchup.
The Rasmussen poll came out on Friday with Trump at 52% support from likely primary voters, DeSantis at 24%, other candidates at 16%, and seven percent undecided.
2024 Arizona Republican Primary:
Trump 52% (+28)
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) March 17, 2023
DeSantis has not yet officially entered the race, but pollsters and pundits have seen him as the closest primary competitor to Trump for at least the last several months.
Two other candidates officially in the race, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, have not gotten out of the single digits in most other polling.
Other state polls have also shown Trump with a lead over DeSantis, even when other candidates are included. Trump even leads narrowly in Florida, DeSantis's home state.
He also leads in Texas and Pennsylvania, according to polls taken there.
Some national polls have shown DeSantis with a lead over Trump, but primaries are state-by-state so a national poll may not reflect how individual primaries will go.
Conditions likely to change
The GOP primary race is still more than 10 months away, and events are likely to influence voters in different ways during that time.
Trump may see a surge of support from his base if he is indicted this week, as seems likely from sources in the Manhattan DA's office.
DeSantis will likely see a bump in support when he makes his candidacy official, and voters will turn toward him if they see negative behavior from Trump as has happened in the past.
If Trump continues to pound the narrative that he actually won the 2024 election but was cheated out of it, that's likely to hurt him as time goes on.
And if Biden continues to fail at the economy, the border, and national security, which is likely, it could benefit one or both candidates.
A surge of support for Haley or Ramaswamy is most likely to hurt DeSantis, but could impact either candidate. And that's only the known or predictable events on the horizon--this far out, anything could happen and probably will.
How this race will play out, no one really knows right now. It's looking good for Trump, but DeSantis is a force that has only just begun to show strength.