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DeSantis edges out Trump among Florida voters in head-to-head match-up: survey

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis
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Former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) lead polls among potential 2024 GOP primary voters

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) led former President Trump by a slight margin in a hypothetical 2024 primary contest in Florida, according to a new poll.

The University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab found that DeSantis received the support of 47 percent of respondents who were registered Republicans, compared to 45 percent support for Trump and 7 percent who said they would vote for someone else.

But as speculation swirls over whether the two GOP figures will mount White House bids, fewer than 1 in 10 respondents — 8 percent — said they think DeSantis and Trump are enemies. 

Forty-seven percent described their personal relationship as acquaintances, and 42 percent described the duo as friends.

“DeSantis and Trump are the two most popular Republican names being discussed for 2024, and DeSantis is edging him out in their home state,” said Michael Binder, the pollster’s faculty director. 

“People are split on whether Trump and DeSantis are friends or merely acquaintances; I guess we’ll really find out after the midterms and the 2024 race starts to heat up,” he added.

DeSantis’s national profile has continued to grow as the 2024 presidential election approaches.

He has leaned into the culture wars as he weighs a bid, hoping to win over the Republican Party’s conservative base as the party waits to see if Trump will mount a campaign.

DeSantis is hitting the campaign trail this month for several of Trump’s endorsed candidates in battleground states like Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

But before the 2024 primaries begin, DeSantis faces a reelection campaign to the governorship in Florida. 

The poll found that DeSantis remained favored to win a second term. Half of registered voters indicated support for DeSantis in November whether he faces Nikki Fried or Charlie Crist, the two leading contenders in the state’s upcoming Democratic primary.

The poll found Fried, Florida’s commissioner of agriculture, received 43 percent support against DeSantis, with 5 percent saying they would vote for someone else. In a hypothetical match-up between DeSantis and Rep. Charlie Crist, Crist received 42 percent support while 6 percent said they would vote for someone else.

“But both potential match-ups are much closer than they were when we polled registered voters in February, when DeSantis was up by over 20 percentage points,” said Binder. “It is important to keep in mind that these are registered voters, and Republicans are generally more likely to turn out in November.”

Likely Democratic primary voters were more likely to support Fried in the Aug. 23 contest to face DeSantis, according to the poll.

Fried received 47 percent of the support among respondents who said they would definitively vote or had already voted in the Democratic primary, compared to 43 percent support for Crist. Two other candidates in the race both polled in the single digits, while 6 percent of respondents said they didn’t know or declined to answer.

“Fried seems to have reversed the eight-point lead that Crist had when we asked registered Democrats about vote choice in February,” said Binder. “It’s possible that the overturning of Roe v. Wade changed the make-up of this race and has particularly energized women that are almost 20 points more likely to vote for her.”

The poll was conducted between Aug. 8 and Aug. 12 through a weighted sample of 1,624 registered voters using an online survey platform. The margin of error for questions asked to all respondents is 3.4 percentage points.

Tags 2024 presidential election 2024 presidential election 2024 Republicans Charlie Crist Charlie Crist Donald Trump Florida Florida Florida polls Nikki Fried Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis
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