PALM BEACH, Florida – With the 2022 election cycle heading toward completion, political junkies are now focusing their attention on the 2024 presidential contest, especially a potential primary battle between former President Donald Trump and Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
And a brand-new poll conducted in the days after the midterms has a surprising result on which high-profile name American voters prefer.
The survey by YouGov shows the largest percentage of voters – at 41% – saying they’d prefer NEITHER DeSantis nor Trump as the GOP nominee.
Coming in second place behind “neither” was DeSantis at 23%, and in third place Trump with 20%, which is reportedly the first time ever Republican voters now back DeSantis over Trump.
The poll included both Republicans and Democrats, and when the GOP voters are isolated, Republicans still preferred DeSantis over the former president 41% to 39%.
The survey shows a reversal of another YouGov poll in October which showed more voters preferred Trump to DeSantis as the 2024 GOP nominee.
In the new poll, a plurality of Republicans at 42% indicated the party should amend its approach to the 2024 presidential race, while 31% said the party should keep the same approach it employed in the midterm elections.
On Sunday, Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump said it would be “nicer” for DeSantis to stay out of the 2024 race, and instead throw his hat in the ring in 2028.
“I think he’s a smart enough guy to know that it would be great to have all the support of this party, of the America first, MAGA movement, whatever you want to call it, fully behind him in 2028,” she told Sky News Australia.
“I can tell you those primaries get very messy and very raw. We’ve experienced that before. So wouldn’t it be nicer for him, and I think he knows this, to wait until 2028,” she added.
But not everyone shares her opinion.
“I absolutely think that [DeSantis] should run [in 2024] and I absolutely think he should be the GOP nominee,” Patrick Hynes, a GOP strategist in New Hampshire, told Vox.com. “In every measure, he is the optimal Republican candidate at this time.”
“I think that DeSantis can win many Trump Republicans over, but there are some who are just implacable,” he admitted.
Fernand Amandi, a Democrat consultant based in Miami, told Vox: “I remember the last time a Florida Republican, who had the support of the national party and had raised hundreds of millions of dollars, planned on dispatching Donald Trump. And it only took three words to eliminate him from the scene: ‘Low Energy Jeb,'” referring to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s disastrous 2016 presidential run.
“The MAGA wing of the Republican Party is a political cult. You can only have one cult leader at a time and anybody who threatens the leader of the cult must pay the ultimate price,” he said. “Right now, if DeSantis directly challenges Trump, he’s risking political oblivion.”
As WND reported, Donald Trump has been taunting DeSantis since Election Day last Tuesday, posting on his own Truth Social: “Now that the Election in Florida is over, and everything went quite well, shouldn’t it be said that in 2020, I got 1.1 Million more votes in Florida than Ron D got this year, 5.7 Million to 4.6 Million? Just asking?”
Trump also explained the background to his support for DeSantis:
Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide to a very good Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, who was loaded up with cash and great poll numbers. Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would Endorse him, he could win. I didn’t know Adam so I said, “Let’s give it a shot, Ron.” When I Endorsed him, it was as though, to use a bad term, a nuclear weapon went off. Years later, they were the exact words that Adam Putnam used in describing Ron’s Endorsement. He said, “I went from having it made, with no competition, to immediately getting absolutely clobbered after your Endorsement.” I then got Ron by the “Star” of the Democrat Party, Andrew Gillum (who was later revealed to be a “Crack Head”), by having two massive Rallies with tens of thousands of people at each one. I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart. I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen …
Trump’s 2024 presidential candidacy is widely expected to be announced this Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach.