DeSantis Is More Popular Than Trump Among These Key Groups Ahead Of 2024, Poll Finds


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) would fare better in a head-to-head matchup against President Joe Biden than former President Donald Trump with many key demographics, new Morning Consult polling suggests, as the two Republicans head toward what’s likely to be a contentious primary election for the 2024 presidential nomination.

Key Facts

The poll, conducted February 3-5 among 6,000 registered voters, found that Trump would lose to Biden by three points in a head-to-head matchup, while Biden and DeSantis were tied.

DeSantis fared better than Trump among Republicans for the most part, beating Biden by an 83% margin among Republicans overall (versus 80% for Trump) and by 85% among those who voted Republican in the 2022 midterms (versus 77% for Trump)—though Trump 2020 voters still favored the ex-president over DeSantis by two points.

Voters over age 45 were five points more likely to prefer DeSantis over Trump (DeSantis beat Biden by eight points versus Trump by one point), as were white voters, who would elect DeSantis by a 12-point margin but Trump by seven points.

While college-educated voters preferred Biden to either GOP candidate, DeSantis still fared 10 points better than Trump among those with higher than a college degree, and eight points better among white college graduates.

The Florida governor was also at least slightly more popular than Trump among nearly every other demographic polled: women, Democrats, Independents, Hispanic voters, white voters who aren’t college graduates, 2020 Biden voters and those who voted Democratic in the November midterms.

Trump tied DeSantis among men (both beat Biden by four points) and was more popular than him among Black voters and voters under age 45, though both groups still preferred Biden overall.

Big Number

41%. That’s DeSantis’ favorability rating among 2,000 registered voters that Morning Consult polled, versus 42% who have favorable views of Trump and 45% who approve of Biden. Among Republicans, Trump is more popular, with 82% viewing him favorably versus 72% who say the same about DeSantis. Trump’s disapproval ratings are much higher, however: 55% of all voters have unfavorable views of him versus 35% for DeSantis, and 18% of Republicans have negative opinions of the ex-president versus 9% for the Florida governor.


The poll also found that DeSantis so far has a higher net favorability rating in 10 battleground states than either Trump or Biden: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. Approximately a quarter of voters in those states reported having no opinion yet on DeSantis, however—except for Florida—so it’s likely his favorability could change as his profile continues to rise and more voters develop stronger opinions of him.

What To Watch For

DeSantis still hasn’t officially committed to running for president in 2024 or launched his campaign, though the Hill reported last week the governor is “on the cusp” of making a decision. (Trump formally launched his campaign in November.) It remains to be seen how views of DeSantis will change once he gains more attention among the general public and the primary election gets underway. Morning Consult notes the governor’s popularity has gotten stronger in recent months, however, as voters who were previously unsure about him more often seem to go on to develop a favorable opinion of him than an unfavorable one. The Florida governor has also come under significant controversy for his policies in Florida, such as what’s known as the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, Florida’s rejection of an AP African-American Studies course and his battle with Disney, so those hot-button issues could also affect voters’ views as he continues to push right-wing policies.

What We Don’t Know

How other 2024 GOP candidates could affect the anticipated face-off between DeSantis and Trump. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is “taking steps” toward a likely presidential run, for instance, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to announce her candidacy on Wednesday. Polling on 2024 thus far has suggested that Republican voters largely aren’t interested in most candidates besides Trump or DeSantis, though it remains to be seen how the race could change as it formally gets underway.

Key Background

DeSantis has long been viewed as the primary alternative GOP candidate to Trump in 2024. The governor has gained more steam among Republicans since the midterms, in which he sailed to reelection in Florida while many of Trump’s endorsed candidates lost, and Morning Consult’s polling is in line with other polls that have shown DeSantis beating Trump among the GOP. Trump has ramped up his attacks on DeSantis as a result, dubbing him “Ron DeSanctimonious” and sharing photos alleging the now-governor drank alcohol with underage girls when he was a teacher. DeSantis has so far resisted going after Trump in response, responding to Trump sharing the photos by saying he “[doesn’t] spend [his] time trying to smear other Republicans.”

Further Reading

DeSantis Looks More Electable Than Trump Against Biden (Morning Consult)

DeSantis’s Challenge: When, and How, to Counterattack Trump (New York Times)

‘DeSanctimonious’ Vs. ‘Chill Out’: Trump’s DeSantis Jabs Are One-Way Attacks (Forbes)

DeSantis Surges Over Trump Among GOP By Double-Digit Margins, Poll Finds (Forbes)