DeSantis edges out Trump as GOP’s preferred leader: poll

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) edged out former President Trump as Republicans’ preferred party leader in a new poll released on Tuesday.

Twenty-two percent of Republicans said they want DeSantis to be the leader of the party, while another 20 percent said the same of Trump, according to The Associated Press-NORC Center poll.

However, the largest group of Republicans — 34 percent — said they don’t know who should lead the party or didn’t answer the question. 

No other Republican secured more than 1 percent in the poll, including former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who announced her 2024 campaign on Tuesday, becoming the first major Republican to jump in the race against Trump.

Trump announced his campaign unusually early, just one week after the midterm elections in November. While DeSantis has yet to announce a presidential bid for 2024, the Florida governor is widely viewed as Trump’s biggest competition for the GOP nomination.

However, more than any other GOP figure, the former president continues to be viewed as the reigning leader of the Republican Party. 

Nineteen percent of respondents said they view Trump as the current leader of the party, compared to the 10 percent who said the same of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the 9 percent who named House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

The AP-NORC poll was conducted from Jan. 26 to Jan. 30 with 1,068 adults and had a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.

Tags 2024 presidential election AP-NORC Donald Trump Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell Nikki Haley Nikki Haley Poll Republican Party Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis

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