Washington

Trump’s 2024 Strength Is Increasing, and GOP Voters Prefer DeSantis as His Running Mate

56% of GOP voters would back Trump again in 2024, his best showing yet

Vendors flags fly in the wind before a March 12 rally featuring former President Donald Trump in Florence, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump’s power as a political kingmaker has been called into question as his endorsees have struggled in Senate primaries in Alabama and North Carolina. But surveys continue to show there is little reason to question his personal electoral strength among the party’s base should he pull the trigger on another presidential bid.

Nobody Comes Close to Trump’s 2024 Primary Support

Republican voters were asked whom they would support in a hypothetical 2024 presidential primary matchup

Zero percent of respondents selected Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley, Larry Hogan, Kristi Noem, Mike Pompeo or Tim Scott.
Survey conducted March 18-21, 2022, among 729 Republican registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.

Testing the 2024 field

  • According to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey, 56 percent of Republican voters said they would vote for Trump in a hypothetical 2024 presidential primary. It marks his largest level of support in seven surveys conducted since November 2020. (Caveat: Some of those surveys included his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and the latest does not.) 
  • Thirteen percent would back Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the hypothetical contest.
  • Four in 5 Republican voters (82 percent) view Trump favorably, compared with 17 percent who hold unfavorable views. The two figures are similar to his average monthly standing throughout most of Joe Biden’s presidency after a brief dip that followed the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
  • A Morning Consult/Politico survey earlier this month showed 69 percent of GOP voters said Trump should run, including 47 percent who say he “definitely” should.

The context

Trump’s robust support among the Republican electorate isn’t new: A plurality of Republican voters said they would vote for him in 2024 in a survey conducted just days after the Jan. 6 riot. But his influence on other GOP races is facing a test this year, and so far he appears to be struggling in high-profile statewide contests.

On Wednesday, he revoked his endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks for the GOP’s Senate nomination in Alabama following an interview last week with The Washington Examiner, when he called the congressman “disappointing. Trump also told the Examiner he plans to offer endorsements in the wide-open Senate primaries in Ohio, Missouri and Pennsylvania, where his preferred candidate, Sean Parnell, dropped out after losing custody of his children in divorce proceedings. 

And, Trump used his time with the Examiner to further distance himself from former Vice President Mike Pence, saying he does not think the party’s electorate would accept his ex-No. 2 on a potential 2024 ticket. The survey suggests the 45th president is right about that.

DeSantis Is Republicans’ Top Pick to Join Trump on a Hypothetical 2024 GOP Ticket

Republican voters were asked whom Donald Trump should choose as his vice presidential nominee if he wins the 2024 Republican presidential nomination

Zero percent of respondents selected Tom Cotton or Josh Hawley.
Survey conducted March 18-21, 2022, among 729 Republican registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.

The Pence angle

  • When asked who should be Trump’s vice presidential running mate if he clinches the nomination again, 27 percent of Republican voters said he should pick DeSantis, followed by 15 percent who said Pence. (Survey respondents were not informed of Trump’s latest comments on Pence.)
  • Pence also trailed DeSantis in the hypothetical primary, with 1 in 10 Republican voters saying they would vote for Pence if the nomination contest were held today. 

The latest Morning Consult/Politico survey was conducted March 18-21, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered U.S. voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult