But Trump would win against Biden or Harris
A recent poll of voters published on May 24 has suggested that if Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis were to be the GOP nominee for the 2024 presidential election, he would lose if running against current Vice President Kamala Harris.
The Harvard-Harris Poll took the opinions of 1,963 registered voters on May 18 and 19 and assessed their perspective on the current state of the nation, its economy and leadership, as well as pressing for opinions on the likely outcome of various hypothetical scenarios in the 2024 race for the White House.
Responses were weighted to make them proportionate to the general views of the population, and as such the results should be free from bias. Most surprising amongst the findings was that if Ron DeSantis were the Republican candidate competing against Democrat, Kamala Harris, then he would lose by 41% of votes to 38%.
Contrasting this to a scenario where Donald Trump were running against Harris, the survey projected a Trump victory by 47% of votes to 40%.
Trump - a known quantity?
The poll highlights an interesting trend - that respondents seem to favor candidates who are known quantities rather than those who are relatively unknown. Proving the point, many of the findings of the poll showed that voters have very little faith in President Joe Biden:
- 53% said they felt he was not mentally fit to serve as president.
- 62% said he was showing himself as too old to serve as president
- He ranked just 5th most favorable out of all political figures. Interestingly DeSantis was 7th, ahead of Harris at 8th.
In spite of how badly Biden did in the poll, in a theoretical 2024 election between Trump and Biden, the survey still projected that Biden would do better against Trump losing by 45% to 42%.
If it were Harris against Trump, the former president would win by a greater margin - 47% to 40%. It suggests that while voters have little confidence in President Biden, he'd still stand more chance than Harris.
For Ron DeSantis this could be positive. By 2024 he could be far more popular and well known across the U.S. than at present, and if he were to take the GOP nomination from Trump then Republican voters would potentially get behind him more than they are willing to at present.
DeSantis repeatedly wins in polls over Trump
Straw polls tend to alternate in projecting DeSantis and then Trump the most likely GOP nominee. The most recent of these taken amongst Republican voters in Wisconsin on May 24 suggested that DeSantis would come out on top with 38% of votes compared to Trump's 32%. It suggests that if the Governor of Florida were to indicate presidential ambitions for 2024, there is already a lot of support for him outside of Florida.
Whether DeSantis has any interest in running for the White House is, of course, the big question.
There are growing signs of his potential of course - not just the growth of his following in and out of Florida, but also his considerable power to attract campaign funding which has already equipped his campaign war chest with over $100 million.
Meanwhile, Governor DeSantis remains tight-lipped on the topic and refuses to declare himself out or in (much to Trump's annoyance). What the future holds, remains to be seen.
Would you favor Ron DeSantis or Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for a 2024 election? Would you rather it was someone else altogether? Let me know in the comments section below.