Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has moved ahead of the former US president as the front-runner for the GOP nomination
Fresh off a landslide victory for re-election as Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis has emerged as the early favorite to win the Republican Party’s nomination for president in 2024, overtaking Donald Trump, a new poll has revealed.
Republican and Republican-leaning voters prefer DeSantis over former President Trump by a margin of 42-35, according to a YouGov poll released on Friday evening. The remaining 23% of respondents were either unsure or said they preferred neither top candidate.
The YouGov survey was done from Wednesday through Friday, following a disappointing showing by Republicans in Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections. One bright spot for the GOP was Florida, where DeSantis trounced Democrat rival Charlie Crist by nearly 20 percentage points in the gubernatorial race, and Republicans won 20 of the 28 US House seats that were up for grabs. Senator Marco Rubio also won re-election by a wide margin, and like DeSantis, he prevailed in some areas that were previously thought to be Democrat strongholds, such as Miami-Dade County.
In contrast, several of the most high-profile candidates endorsed by Trump, including Senate hopefuls Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Blake Masters in Arizona, lost their races.
A Twitter poll by conservative media outlet Breaking911, which has 1 million followers, showed that nearly 70% of respondents believe that DeSantis should lead the Republican Party following Tuesday’s election results. By comparison, 23.7% chose Trump.
Who should lead the Republican party moving forward following the results on Tuesday night?
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) November 9, 2022
A YouGov poll administered just two weeks before the midterms showed that Trump was still the preferred 2024 candidate for Republican voters. The former president led DeSantis by a margin of 44-26.
Trump may be feeling the political heat after the sharp shift in voter views. He derided DeSantis on Thursday, claiming credit for his success and calling him an “average Republican governor with great public relations.” He later took a shot at Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, taking credit for his election victory last year and suggesting that his name “sounds Chinese.”
Trump has hinted that he will announce his candidacy for president next week, though some of his allies have reportedly urged him to delay the move until after Georgia’s December 6 runoff election. The Georgia race may determine which party controls the Senate.