- Republican support for another Trump offer has eroded significantly.
- Biden now leads Trump in a head-to-head matchup, 47%-40%.
- Two-thirds of GOP and GOP voters want DeSantis to run.
Republican support for Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential bid has plummeted, according to an exclusive USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, as the former president is beset by midterm losses and setbacks in theaters audience.
By 2-1, GOP and GOP voters now say they want Trump’s policies but a different standard bearer to carry them. While 31% want the former president to run, 61% prefer another Republican nominee who would continue the policies pursued by Trump.
They have a name in mind: Two-thirds of Republicans and those inclined to vote Republican want Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to run for president. By double digits, 56% to 33%, they prefer DeSantis to Trump.
“Republicans and conservative independents increasingly want Trumpism without Trump,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
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The results are a red flag for Trump, whose grassroots support has remained remarkably strong through firestorms over his personal behavior, provocative rhetoric and most controversial actions in the White House. But he has become increasingly besieged by his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, his alleged mishandling of sensitive documents when he left the White House, and investigations into efforts to overturn the results. 2020 elections.
Some Republican strategists blame Trump and his influence for the GOP’s failure to take control of the Senate in November. Candidates he has helped recruit and support in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania have lost races that independent analysts thought were won by more mainstream candidates.
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The poll of 1,000 registered voters, taken by landline and cell phone from Wednesday to Sunday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The sample of 374 Republicans and independents who lean towards the Republican Party has a margin of error of 5.1 points.
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Biden’s lead widens over Trump in head-to-head race
Enthusiasm for Trump’s third White House bid in the GOP has waned significantly in recent months, according to the USA TODAY/Suffolk survey.
In July, 60% of Republicans wanted Trump to run again. By October, that number had fallen to 56%. Now he’s down to 47%, an almost even split with the 45% who don’t want him to run a third time.
Polls conducted in July and December were of registered voters. The October ballot was likely made up of midterm voters.
Trump is also viewed less favorably by his supporters. The percentage of Republicans who view him favorably fell from 75% in October to 64% in December. Its unfavorable rating went from 18% to 23%.
Of all the voters, Trump fell further behind President Joe Biden in a hypothetical one-on-one rematch. Now, Biden would win a general election showdown by 47% to 40%. (Due to rounding effects, Biden’s margin is a bit wider than it suggests, at 7.8 points.) In October, Biden was also in the lead, but by a narrower margin, 46%. -42%.
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Biden sees slippage among Democrats as DeSantis rises high in GOP
Biden hasn’t seen his political standing deteriorate, but neither has it improved much.
Since October, its favorable rating has increased by one percentage point, to 46%, and its unfavorable rating has dropped by one point, to 50%. But Democratic support for him to run for a second term has fallen from 45% to 40%. Of all voters, only 23% want him to run again.
While Biden now leads Trump, he trails DeSantis in a head-to-head race, with DeSantis at 47% and Biden at 43%.
The Florida governor, who last month sailed for a second term in the Sunshine State, has an important national reputation. Two-thirds of Republican and Republican-leaning voters, 65%, want him to run for president in 2024. Only 24% hope he doesn’t.
DeSantis’ success may hinge on a one-on-one contest with Trump, Paleologos warned. “Add in a number of other Republican presidential candidates who would split the anti-Trump vote and you have a recipe for a repeat of the 2016 Republican caucuses and primaries,” he said, “when Trump outlived the rest of the divided field.”