A newly-released poll shows Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump in a virtual tie in the battleground state of Michigan and among likely Republican voters. The poll is a sign Trump may not easily win the GOP nomination if he and Gov. DeSantis both decide to run in 2024.
The survey, commissioned by the Detroit News and WDIV, a local Detroit news station, found that 42% of likely Republican voters would back DeSantis, while 45% would vote for Trump. The percentages are well inside the poll’s plus or minus 4.4 percentage point margin of error. Additionally, the poll found that 12% of voters continue to be undecided on whom they will support, with 1% refusing to answer.
Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin previously formed a trio of Democrat-leaning states, nicknamed the “Blue Wall,” that Trump won to propel him to victory in 2016 over Hillary Clinton. However, GOP members in the states appear to be less sure about supporting Trump in 2024.
Fewer than two-thirds of Republican voters in Michigan, approximately 64%, said they “somewhat” or “strongly” support Trump in his third bid for the highest office. Twenty-seven percent said they would “somewhat” or “strongly” oppose his campaign.
The poll also appeared to show a relationship between the level of education and Trump support. While high school-educated voters back Trump by 55% to 29%, college-educated GOP voters choose DeSantis by 51% to 37%. Trump leads DeSantis by 81% to 24% with “Trump Republicans,” voters who consider themselves to be members of the party but are more loyal to Trump than the party itself.
In contrast, DeSantis led Trump 53% to 33% among Republicans who said they support the GOP more than the former president.
Trump appears ready to announce campaign
Although Trump has not yet formally announced he would run for office, he has repeatedly hinted at the decision and recently revealed he has already made up his mind. Although the former president was expected to announce his run after the midterms, he may choose to announce it earlier. Likewise, DeSantis has yet to announce a 2024 presidential bid; however, he has received millions of dollars for his gubernatorial re-election campaign from former donors to Trump.
According to Trump, “I don’t know if Ron is running, and I don’t ask him. It’s his prerogative. I think I would win.” The former president has maintained a looming presence in the GOP since leaving office, with endorsements of candidates in numerous primaries.
In another subject broached by the poll, 59% of Michigan Republican voters said they supported Trump’s stolen election claims. “I believe Trump,” voter Nancy LaFrance told the Detroit News. “Just because they’ve got the Republican name doesn’t mean they’re Republican or that they’re out for the best of people.”
Throughout the midterm cycle, the former president has repeatedly blasted any Republicans who don’t support his allegations of fraud as “RINOs” — or Republicans in name only.
The small survey among 500 registered voters is considered a small sample size for a presidential poll.