It is not a given that Donald Trump is going to win the 2024 nomination for president from the Republican Party.
In an interesting bit of polling, Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis was a full 17 percent ahead of Trump among registered Republicans in California when asked for their choice if presented with just the two for the 2024 primaries. While obviously California generally leans towards the Dems in statewide elections, its presidential primary races could still have a significant impact on how those outcomes eventually unfold. California’s party convention delegates will be up for grabs on what could end up known this year as Super Tuesday, with the state’s presidential primaries part of that slate of contests in the past. Super Tuesday, as it’s been nicknamed, is a point — generally early in the process of nominating a presidential pick — when a large number of states hold their individual primaries on the same day, making the juncture a high-stakes flashpoint for the campaign.
And Trump plummeted 17 percent behind DeSantis. Although other candidates, including Nikki Haley, have already either announced a campaign or signaled they’re moving that direction, there is also a precedent for presidential contenders with a comparatively lower profile to abandon the overall race before the elections of Super Tuesday. Democrats did it in 2020.
Even when registered Republicans in the new California polling were presented with a longer list of candidates, DeSantis still led, with 37 percent of the support, compared to 29 percent for Trump. Haley, who was included that time, had seven percent. Finishing some place other than first in the results from a presidential primary generally doesn’t leave a candidate completely excluded. Those finishing second and beyond still get some delegates pledged to their cause for the eventual nominating convention. It’s just the first-place finisher that gets the most.
In the one-on-one contest, DeSantis was at 50 percent with the California Republicans, and Trump had just 33 percent. Trump had a lead of one percent among respondents identified as “strongly conservative,” while DeSantis’s lead grew to 39 percent among poll participants ID’ed as “somewhat conservative.” The polling was conducted by the University of California, Berkeley.
Trump seems far more worried about the possibility of a DeSantis candidacy than the candidacy for president Haley already announced, just going off the rate of his posts on his knock-off social media site Truth Social about one candidate — or potential candidate — versus the other.