Republican voters may be looking forward to the 2024 election, but most do not want former President Trump on the ballot. According to the latest USA Today/Suffolk University poll, 56% of Republican-leaning voters prefer Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, compared to 33% for Trump. Furthermore, 45% don’t want Trump to run at all, and his favorably ratings have slipped to 64% from 75% since October among Republicans. According to David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, the numbers show that “Republicans and conservative independents increasingly want Trumpism without Trump."
As Forbes reports, Trump’s diminished standing comes amid a steady flow of legal woes, including ongoing investigations at city, state, and federal levels from New York to Georgia. Republicans also heaped blame on Trump for a relatively poor showing in November’s midterms, and many distanced themselves further after he hosted white supremacist Nick Fuentes and the antisemitic Kanye West at a Mar-a-Lago dinner, then later suggested the Constitution should be suspended. (Trump says that was misconstrued.) Many prominent Republicans and former allies are no longer holding back criticism, though Trump can still count on staunch support from staunch backers including Reps. Elise Stefanik and Madison Cawthorn, per Fox News.
The USA Today poll also found some mixed if not somewhat bad news for President Biden. His standing among Democrats sank 5 points since early fall, with just 40% now wishing for him to seek a second term. And while the poll shows Biden beating Trump by nearly 8 points in a theoretical 2024 matchup, it also shows Biden losing to DeSantis by 4 points, an indication of just how much some voters really don’t want another Trump presidency. The Hill points out that Trump’s numbers aren’t helped by the fact that his nascent 2024 campaign really hasn’t done much of anything in the past month. Nevertheless, as the Independent notes, Trump still has a pretty good chance of winning the GOP nomination—especially in a crowded field—because of the way the party allocates delegates in winner-take-all primaries. (Read more Election 2024 stories.)