Donald Trump can not count on actually securing the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, no matter his confidence.
Although some polling also shows Trump leading, new survey data from the generally well-regarded Quinnipiac University finds the ex-president tied with Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis among overall Republican respondents, while the governor led by a margin of two percent among just Republicans who were registered voters. In that group, DeSantis nabbed 45 percent of the support, while Donald had 43 percent. Other surveys have found DeSantis leading Trump in a potential GOP presidential primary match-up at the state level, including in Florida, but this polling was specifically conducted at the national level. Notably, DeSantis also led Trump by a huge margin among overall respondents, although in states with closed primaries, the opinion of someone who isn’t a Republican wouldn’t matter. Asked whether they would prefer Trump or DeSantis to win the GOP nod, a full 43 percent of overall respondents picked the governor, and only 29 percent selected Donald.
Besides the other potential ramifications of DeSantis beating Trump for the Republican nomination should the Florida governor actually decide to run, it would also be ironic considering the now former president was such a significant part of DeSantis rising to power. An endorsement from the then-president for DeSantis in the 2018 Republican primary for governor in Florida helped propel Ron, who has previously served as a Congressman, to the nomination over a generally well-regarded then-state official. In the new Quinnipiac polling, Trump led among Hispanic respondents from the overall pool of adults, but that was about it. Among Hispanics who were also registered voters, DeSantis and Trump were tied, and in category after category of both registered voters and those who weren’t registered the Florida governor was in the lead. The totals for overall registered voters were very close to those for overall adults.
Trump has reacted with predictable frustration to the possibility of DeSantis running for president. Donald also continues facing serious legal issues that could potentially lead to either criminal charges or huge financial penalties, from the government investigation into his handling of classified documents to the ongoing civil lawsuit from New York state Attorney General Letitia James alleging years of fraud at the Trump family business hinging on deceptive statements of value for dozens of assets.