Ron DeSantis has trouble against Donald Trump in the crowded field

New polls suggest Gov. Ron DeSantis could face a problem when he runs for the presidency of the United States in 2024, especially if the GOP field is crowded as widely expected.

A Harvard Harris On-site polls on Dec. 14 and 15 showed DeSantis outperforming the former president donald trump if a head-to-head National Presidential Primary between the two were hypothetically possible.

According to poll analysis, a two-way fight between DeSantis and Trump is an “open fight” with Trump controlling the “hard GOP base.” But if you factor in GOP-leaning independent registered voters, DeSantis leads Trump in the national scenario with 52% support versus 48% for the former president.

That’s the best-case scenario for Trump in the poll. When independents drop out of the sample, GOP registrants remain loyal to Trump. The former president’s 55% is poised for a double-digit lead over DeSantis.

The less than rousing news from this poll continues as a larger hypothetical field of candidates is tested. Trump secures a whopping 48% in this scenario, 25 points clear of DeSantis’ distant second place. Voters unsure or wanting someone else make up 11% overall, ahead of third-place finisher: former Vice President Mike Pence, who garnered 6% support.

Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had 4% support while US Sen. ted cruz and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had 2% each. Were at 1% Tim Scott and Marco Rubio.

DeSantis’ path appears to depend mostly on whether Trump runs, as the governor has 48% support without the former president in the field. Runner-up Pence was the only other candidate in double digits in this scenario with 15% support. Haley had 5%, Pompeo and Rubio 3%, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott had 2% support. The other 19% wanted someone else or were otherwise unsure.

If DeSantis secures the nomination, the poll has good news for him: He’s running against both presidents in hypothetical general elections Joe Biden (43% to 39%) and Vice President Kamala Harris (45% to 40%).

But to get to November, the governor needs to get delegates to the 2024 Republican Convention, and this poll highlights a potential complication.

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Callan Tansill

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