GOP backing for former President Donald Trump’s third consecutive White House bid has fallen apart over the past several months, with most Republican voters now saying they prefer another candidate to carry on his policies in 2024, according to a poll released Tuesday.
While 31% of Republican and Republican-leaning independents want Trump, 76, to run again in two years, 61% say they would rather have another GOP standard-bearer, the USA Today/Suffolk University survey found.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, 44, is their preferred choice.
DeSantis, who cruised to reelection Nov. 8, leads Trump by 23 percentage points — 56% to 33% — in a head-to-head primary matchup, the poll shows.
Nearly two-thirds of Republican and GOP-leaning voters (65%) say the governor should run for the White House in 2024, with just 24% saying he shouldn’t.
“Republicans and conservative independents increasingly want Trumpism without Trump,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, told USA Today.
Trump, who is facing state and federal investigations over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and for keeping classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort, has seen enthusiasm among Republicans for a third White House try plummet in recent months, falling from 60% support in July to 56% in October to 47% now.
The former president has also seen his favorability rating fall among the Republican faithful – skidding from 75% in October to 64% in December.
In a hypothetical 2024 matchup, Trump lags behind President Biden by 47% to 40%, the poll found.
But DeSantis tops Biden 47% to 43% in a hypothetical 2024 election matchup.
The survey also showed that Biden’s approval rating has improved slightly, climbing a point to 46% from October, while his unfavorable rating fell a point to 50%.
But support among Democrats for the 80-year-old Biden’s potential reelection bid has fallen to 40% from 45% over the same period. Just 23% of all voters want the president to run again.
The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters — including 374 Republican and Republican-leaning independents — between Dec. 7 and Dec. 11.
The poll of all registered voters has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points.
The poll of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 5.1 percentage points.