Donald Trump is apparently losing more and more approval from his conservative base. After party colleagues blamed the ex-president for the unexpectedly poor performance of Republicans in the midterm elections in November, voters are now turning their backs on him, according to a new poll. According to this, by far the most Republican-leaning voters would rather put Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the running for the highest office in the state than Trump in 2024.
According to the Suffolk University and USA Today poll, Republican and pro-Republican voters prefer DeSantis to Trump by 56 percent to 33 percent. That's a 23 percent lead for the governor. 61 percent of those surveyed said they would like a candidate who would continue Trump's policies, but that this should not be Trump.
In addition, Trump is losing out in the survey, even in direct comparison with President Joe Biden, with minus seven percentage points. DeSantis, on the other hand, is four percentage points ahead of Biden in terms of approval ratings - although he has not even declared whether he has any ambitions for the White House at all. Trump, on the other hand, officially announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination last month.
"There's a new Republican sheriff in town," quotes the Washington Times David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. "DeSantis not only outperforms Trump among the general electorate, but also among the Republican-leaning voters who formed the former President's base. Increasingly, Republicans and conservative independents want Trumpism without Trump."
DeSantis comes in handy for many: The 44-year-old former US military attorney and congressman is pursuing decidedly Trumpist policies as governor of Florida, particularly in the areas of immigration and education. The ultra-conservative politician, for example, had migrants who had allegedly entered the USA illegally flown to the holiday island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts in protest against what he considered to be too lax immigration rules. He also railed against "woke" groups, as he calls them, who supposedly dictate what can be said publicly and taught in schools. DeSantis was confirmed in office with a large majority in the midterm elections.
Trump's candidacy, on the other hand, has hardly gained momentum so far. On the contrary, not only did some Republicans blame him for the midterms bankruptcy, but a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago residence with rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, and white nationalist Nick Fuentes, both made anti-Semitic statements has brought the 76-year-old a lot of public criticism. As was his suggestion that the constitution be overturned and that he be made president again. In addition, the ex-president is at the center of numerous legal investigations, including the storage of secret documents in his private home and the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
However, Trump was not left behind by DeSantis in all polls: According to current data from the polling institute Morning Consult, 49 percent of potential Republican voters answered the question of who they would vote for if the Republican primary were held in their state today: Donald Trump. According to the figures, only 31 percent chose DeSantis. And polling site FiveThirtyEight continues to see Trump ahead in most December polls.
David Paleologos warns against already writing off Trump. The ex-president's success could depend on whether there is a duel with DeSantis, says the director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “Add in a slew of other Republican presidential candidates who would split anti-Trump votes and you have a recipe for a repeat of the Republican primary and 2016 primary, when Trump survived the rest of the split field.”
Quellen: "USA Today", Real Clear Politics, Morning Consult, "Washington Times", FiveThirtyEight, "The Guardian"