Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) leads former President Trump by 23 points among Republicans in a hypothetical GOP presidential primary, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The USA Today-Suffolk University poll found that 56 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters prefer DeSantis, while only 33 percent would support Trump. More than 60 percent said they want a nominee who will continue Trump’s policies but is not Trump, while 31 percent want the former president to run.
“Republicans and conservative independents increasingly want Trumpism without Trump,” said David Paleologos, the director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
Trump became the first major candidate to jump in the race for the White House in 2024 last month, but some signs have indicated his control over the GOP may be weakening.
He has received blame from members of his own party for the GOP’s disappointing performance in the midterm elections. Many of the candidates he endorsed in key races lost after defeating primary opponents who were seen as more electable but less loyal to Trump.
Trump has also received backlash from some Republicans over his dinner with rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, and white nationalist Nick Fuentes, both of whom have espoused antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Trump said he did not know about Fuentes’s views before meeting with him.
The poll also found Trump’s favorable rating among Republicans dropping from 75 percent in October to 64 percent in December. His unfavorable rating has also risen from 18 percent to 23 percent in that time.
Pollsters found President Biden leading a hypothetical head-to-head match-up with Trump, 47 percent to 40 percent. DeSantis led Biden in the poll by about 4 points, 47 percent to 43 percent.
Almost two-thirds of GOP and GOP-leaning voters want DeSantis to run for president in 2024, while only 24 percent do not want him to.