Trump leads DeSantis by double digits in new poll

 January 11, 2023

Despite widespread predictions of his political demise, President Trump is leading all potential 2024 GOP primary competitors including Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) by double-digits, a new poll found.

The Morning Consult poll shows that Trump is supported by 46 percent of Republican primary voters in a crowded field.

Trump vs. DeSantis

Trump is the only candidate in the 2024 Republican primary so far. He is facing criminal investigations from the Biden Justice Department and pushback from conservative pundits and media, as well as some voters in the Republican base who have warmed to DeSantis as the party's future.

Supporters tout DeSantis as a more formidable political threat to Biden than Trump, a claim that is backed up by the Morning Consult poll.

In a head-to-head, Trump underperforms Biden by three points, with Trump getting 41 percent support while Biden gets 44 percent. 11 percent said they would support another candidate and 4 percent were usure.

DeSantis ties Biden at 43 percent, with 7 percent backing another candidate and 7 percent unsure.

Trump leads field by double digits

At the same time, the poll provides warning signs for Democrats and would-be Trump challengers on the right who are betting the former president is losing steam.

Among primary voters, Trump is 13 points ahead of DeSantis, who comes in at 33 percent, while former vice president Mike Pence lags in third at 9 percent.

44 percent of Trump backers would opt for DeSantis as a second choice, while 35 percent of DeSantis backers would support Trump as a back-up. The poll was taken from January 6 to January 8.

DeSantis has yet to declare a White House run, but he has appeared to send veiled warning shots at Trump, and many have seen DeSantis' recent speeches as striking an ambitious tone.

The governor railed against the "floundering federal establishment" in his recent inauguration speech, which drew a contrast between Washington and Florida as a haven of freedom.

Too early?

While DeSantis is generally edging out Trump in head-to-head matchups, he lags behind in a crowded field. But a crowded primary may be hard to avoid.

A long list of challengers failed to break double digits in Morning Consult's poll, including Pence, Liz Cheney, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, Senators Tim Scott (Sc.) and Ted Cruz (Tx.), and governors Glenn Youngkin (Va.), Kristi Noem (Sd.) and Greg Abbott (Tx.).

It's still very early in the 2024 primary cycle, but it's clear that the media narrative concerning Trump's political future is premature.

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