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DeSantis drubbing Trump in 2024 GOP primary poll from quality pollster

SF Gate 12/1/2022 Alec Regimbal, SFGATE
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses attendees during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. The latest Marquette Law School Poll shows DeSantis as the clear favorite for the GOP candidate for president in 2024.  © Phelan M. Ebenhack, AP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses attendees during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. The latest Marquette Law School Poll shows DeSantis as the clear favorite for the GOP candidate for president in 2024. 

A new poll shows that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is the clear favorite among voters to be the GOP candidate for president in 2024, leading former President Donald Trump by a whopping 20 percentage points among Republican and independent voters.

The latest Marquette Law School Poll shows that 60% of Republicans and independents want DeSantis to be the GOP's 2024 nominee, while just 40% of those voters prefer Trump. On Twitter, Charles Franklin — the director of the Marquette Law School Poll — noted that Trump's favorability rating among Republicans has plummeted over the back half of the year. In July, Trump enjoyed support from 64% of Republican voters; the latest data shows that figure has dropped to 55%. 

In fact, DeSantis has gained enough support from voters nationwide that, if a presidential contest between DeSantis and President Joe Biden were held today, the candidates could conceivably tie. When asked who they would support in an election between the two, 42% of voters said they would vote for Biden, while another 42% said they would vote for DeSantis. Another 11% said they'd prefer an alternative candidate, and 4% said they wouldn't vote in that election. 

If you contrast that scenario with a hypothetical rematch between Biden and Trump in 2024, Biden is the clear winner. When asked who they would support in an election between Biden and Trump, 44% of voters said they would support Biden, while 34% said they would support Trump. Another 19% would prefer a different candidate, and 4% said they wouldn't vote. 

Last month's midterm elections can be viewed as a clear rebuke of Trump. Democratic candidates pulled off historic wins while several high-profile Trump-backed candidates lost their races. DeSantis, on the other hand, walloped his Democratic challenger by 19 percentage points, and Republicans in the state flipped three U.S. House seats with DeSantis at the top of ticket. Analysts view those wins as a sign of DeSantis' political strength, and while Trump has already announced his bid for president in 2024, many Republican pundits are not-so-secretly hoping DeSantis will do the same. 

It's easy to dismiss polls this far out from a contest as unimportant, but the Marquette Law School Poll is considered the gold standard in Wisconsin state polls. As such, it's a quality measurement of how voters in other midwestern swing states like Wisconsin may be feeling heading into election season. Those states are often the key to winning presidential contests, and with that in mind, the former president's path back to the Oval Office could become less clear if DeSantis announces a run for the White House in 2024. 

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