Republican Primary Polls Show Trump Leading, DeSantis Yet to Announce Candidacy

The 2024 US presidential election is still over two years away, but the Republican Party is already gearing up for a contentious primary season. The latest polls show that former President Donald Trump is still the clear favorite among Republican voters, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis coming in a distant second.[0] However, DeSantis has yet to formally announce his candidacy, and there are rumors that he may not run at all.

According to a recent Morning Consult poll, Trump has 56% support among Republican voters who would pick him today to win the party’s nomination.[1] This marks Trump’s biggest lead over DeSantis, who has not officially declared his intent to run for president. DeSantis, who is seen as the leading challenger to Trump’s 2024 bid, ranks second with 23% of the vote.[1] To complete the top four candidates, Mike Pence and Nikki Haley received 7% and 4% of the votes, respectively.[2] The poll showed that no candidate received more than 3% of the vote.[2]

According to the survey, 48% of Republican voters who support Trump would choose DeSantis as their backup candidate, while 14% would opt for Pence. Out of the individuals who chose DeSantis as their primary choice, 41% selected Trump as their secondary option, while 17% voted for Pence and another 17% opted for Haley.

Although DeSantis has not yet announced his bid for the 2024 nomination of his party, his previously high support has decreased in recent weeks with Trump gaining more ground in the polls. Although DeSantis has not declared his candidacy for president, he is preparing for a possible campaign and faces severe backlash from Trump.

DeSantis is making an effort to unify his backing in Florida following Trump’s recent acquisition of two endorsements in the state from U.S. Representatives Cory Mills and Byron Donalds.[3] Trump has received endorsements from U.S. Representatives Matt Gaetz and Anna Paulina Luna.[3] However, there is “clearly some angst from the DeSantis camp that so many members of the state’s congressional delegation are throwing their support behind Trump,” according to a GOP consultant for one of the members contacted by DeSantis’ team.[4]

Despite this, DeSantis has racked up a bevy of endorsements, particularly from state legislators in Utah and former members of Congress, including from Florida.[5] Currently, only two sitting members of Congress, Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Chip Roy (R-TX), have endorsed him. However, it’s worth noting that neither of them are from Florida.[5] Ryan Tyson, a longtime GOP pollster and mainstay in DeSantis’ political orbit, has led the effort to drum up support for the governor.[6] Tyson has taken the initiative to initiate the calls and arrange further conversations between the members of Congress and DeSantis personally.[7]

One of DeSantis’ key allies, Rep. Byron Donalds, recently endorsed Trump, causing concern among DeSantis’ team.[7] Donalds said in an interview that he was supporting Trump because the country needed someone “ready for prime time” and that he thought Trump was that person.[6] However, some Republicans believe that DeSantis is the best candidate to lead the party in 2024. “If we want to win in 2024, we need Gov. DeSantis to run for president, and that is why I am not only enthusiastically endorsing him but also joining the Never Back Down movement,” said Stern, a Republican who is endorsing DeSantis and joining his PAC.[8]

DeSantis has not made any formal statements about his presidential ambitions, but he has been making appearances at GOP events in various states, including New Hampshire, an early Republican primary voting state.[3] It remains to be seen whether DeSantis will ultimately decide to run for president in 2024, but the race is already heating up, and it promises to be a contentious one.

0. “Trump world is losing key players to DeSantis as mentor and protege clash ahead of GOP primary” Fox News, 15 Apr. 2023,

1. “Trump widens lead over DeSantis to 33 points in new survey” The Hill, 11 Apr. 2023,

2. “Trump Gains Over DeSantis In New Poll After Indictment: Here’s How He Matches Up Against Biden For 2024 Election” Benzinga, 12 Apr. 2023,

3. “Florida lawmakers caught in endorsement battle between Trump, DeSantis” Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 13 Apr. 2023,

4. “DeSantis pleads with Florida Congress members to stop endorsing Trump” The Guardian US, 13 Apr. 2023,

5. “DeSantis scrambles to undercut Trump as Florida GOP defections mount” Colorado Springs Gazette, 13 Apr. 2023,

6. “Stop endorsing Trump, ‘challenger’ DeSantis tells Florida Congress members” The Telegraph, 13 Apr. 2023,

7. “Ron DeSantis’ team tries to stop Florida GOP from endorsing Trump” NBC News, 12 Apr. 2023,

8. “SC businessman who backed Trump twice joins PAC pushing DeSantis to run for president” AOL, 13 Apr. 2023,

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