Ron DeSantis beats Donald Trump by 24 points in GOP matchup, poll shows
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis comes out on top of a hypothetical nine-person GOP primary field — and defeats former President Donald Trump by 24 percentage points in a head-to-head matchup, according to a new poll.
The WPA Intelligence survey released Wednesday found that 40% of Republican primary voters nationwide call DeSantis, 44, their top choice to win the party’s 2024 White House nod.
Just 31% call Trump, 76, their top choice, with no other GOP figure hitting double digits.
The margin widened when voters were asked to choose between the two, with 57% going for DeSantis and 33% picking Trump.
“President Trump is still liked by most Republicans, but our primary voters are pragmatic,” WPA Intelligence founder and CEO Chris Wilson told The Post. “They like his policies but feel the party needs a new face and leader.”
Of the other names mentioned in the poll, former South Carolina Gov. and onetime United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley was the top choice of 8% of Republican voters, along with former Vice President Mike Pence.
Haley and Trump are the only two candidates polled to formally announce they will seek the Republican nomination, with DeSantis and others expected to join the fray later this year.
Multimillionaire entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who announced his presidential campaign on Tuesday, was not included in the poll, which was in the field before his announcement.
Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was the top choice of 5% of GOP voters, followed by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2%), Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (1% each) and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina (less than 1%).
Nearly three-quarters of Republican voters (73%) said DeSantis was one of their top three choices for 2024, while just 52% said the same of Trump. Approximately a third of voters said Pence (34%) and Haley (33%) were in their top three.
Our latest national poll of Republican primary voters:
T. Scott <1%
Sample: 1,000 verified GOP primary voters. Conducted February 13-16.
— WPA Intelligence (@WPAIntel) February 23, 2023
A WPA Intelligence hypothetical survey was released, showing DeSantis with the most votes.
“Gov. DeSantis is showing GOP primary voters that you can lead as an effective conservative governor and win by big margins,” Wilson said. “Most of us remember when Florida was the textbook definition of a swing state — and he just won it by nearly 20 points with the support of a majority of non-Cuban Latinos.
“His mix of conservative policies and effective political leadership makes him a very appealing candidate to Republican primary voters.”
The poll came the same day that the Republican National Committee voted to host its first presidential debate in Milwaukee in August.
On Tuesday, an Echelon Insights poll revealed DeSantis leading Trump in the battleground state of Michigan and winning over key voter demographics in the process.
That poll also revealed that 68% of voters had barely heard of Trump’s favored nickname for the Florida governor — “Ron DeSanctimonious” — and that 45% who had heard of the name thought it reflected “more poorly” on the former president.
WPA Intelligence surveyed 1,000 GOP primary voters between Feb. 13 and 16, with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.