A new poll of likely Republican voters in North Carolina gives Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a 56% to 35% lead over former President Donald Trump in a potential matchup in the 2024 primary.
The first contests in the primary are more than 13 months away, but that isn’t stopping intense speculation about who on the Republican side might challenge Trump. The former president announced in November his plans to seek a second term, while DeSantis, as a rising star in the GOP, hasn’t officially announced his intentions.
The new N.C. poll was conducted by the Differentiators, a political consulting firm headed up by Jim Blaine, former chief of staff to N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger.
In addition to giving DeSantis a sizeable edge over Trump in the primary, the survey also revealed a favorability gap. Seventy-percent of GOP voters have a favorable view of Trump, while 82% have a favorable view of DeSantis.
Asked a more general question of whether they would vote for Trump or another generic candidate, 52% chose the alternative and 36% chose Trump. Fifty-two percent said they believe another candidate would be more likely to beat President Joe Biden in the general election, with 36% believing Trump would be the best choice.
Voters were evenly split on the question of whether they consider themselves more a supporter of Donald Trump or “the traditional Republican party,” with respondents picking 43% for Trump and 44% for traditional Republicans.
Recent national polling also puts DeSantis ahead of the former president. The Wall Street Journal released a poll Dec. 14 that put DeSantis up 52% to Trump’s 38%.