By Eli Yokley
January 26, 2022 at 6:00 am ET
As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has stepped up attacks against Donald Trump in recent weeks, a new Morning Consult/Politico poll shows the Republican nomination appears to be the former president’s to lose if the two end up locking horns in 2024. What’s more, the poll shows the Florida governor would even have a challenge on his hands if he were facing off against the former president’s eldest son, Donald Jr.
Trump has shrugged off any feud with DeSantis as “fake news,” but the two have exchanged subtle shots in recent weeks. Trump said politicians who have refused to disclose their COVID-19 booster vaccination status are “gutless” — a cohort that includes DeSantis — and the first-term governor suggested he went too easy on Trump for locking down the country during the opening month of the pandemic.
It’s done nothing to weaken DeSantis’ popularity with the nationwide Republican base, 51 percent of whom view him favorably — up from 43 percent in mid-May.
Thirty percent of all voters view DeSantis favorably and 32 percent view him unfavorably, leaving the views of 39 percent up for grabs. Trump, on the other hand, is viewed positively by 42 percent of all voters and negatively by 55 percent, roughly matching voter sentiment about President Joe Biden.
Voters’ views about Biden, in particular, set up high stakes for the eventual Republican nomination contest, where the GOP looks about as well-poised against the incumbent president as Democrats did four years ago.
The poll was conducted Jan. 22-23, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.