Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ dominant performance last week in midterm elections that were largely lackluster for the GOP led many in the media to declare him the frontrunner for the 2024 presidential nomination. But what do the polls say?
It’s ultimately up to Republican voters, and not the media.
A survey of Republican voters released Monday by the conservative Club for Growth showed DeSantis running several points ahead of Donald Trump, his chief rival for the GOP nomination, in a number of key states.
Other recent polls echoed the findings:
- A Texas Republican Party survey conducted from Nov. 12 to Nov. 13 found that GOP voters in the Lone Star State favor DeSantis over Trump by a margin of 43% to 32%.
- A Yahoo News/YouGov poll conducted in the days after the midterms found 42% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they want DeSantis over Trump as the GOP’s presidential nominee, compared to 35% who prefer Trump to DeSantis.
- That’s a reversal of the same poll from a month before, when 45% said they preferred Trump and 35% said DeSantis.
Meanwhile, a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Tuesday showed 47% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents back Trump in the Republican presidential primary, compared to 33% for DeSantis.
- Those findings, which suggest Trump is still top dog in the GOP, contain an indication of how DeSantis’ star has risen.
- The Florida governor stood at only 26% in the same poll last week.
Trump and his supporters have thrown cold water on the growing enthusiasm for DeSantis, framing it as an establishment ploy to undo the populist gains made by the MAGA movement.
Seb Gorka👉 Billionaires who gave 10's of millions of dollars to Obama are now backing Ron DeSantis. The establishment still has to destroy President Trump because he has nobody he owes any favours too and he wants to drain the swamp. The establishment wants to destroy him. pic.twitter.com/ifwNrsSfuy
— 🇺🇸MAGA Force Will🇺🇸 (@notBilly) November 12, 2022
“Ron, you are being used as a weapon of the establishment,” Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump White House adviser, said during an appearance on Newsmax last week. “Do not let them do that to you.”