Florida voters prefer Republicans in 2024, favor Trump over DeSantis

by | Feb 1, 2022

Floridians would vote for two Republican hopefuls for president in 2024 — despite favoring one over the other — according to a new poll released by Suffolk University.

The Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network poll conducted last month found that Florida voters favored Governor Ron DeSantis over President Joe Biden, 52% to 44%, in a hypothetical race. The survey also showed that voters also preferred former President Donald Trump over Biden, 47% to 44%, if the two were to square off in 2024.

The poll also noted that Biden could be vulnerable if challenged by another prominent Democrat in 2024. In a Democratic primary matchup between former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Biden, the survey found that Clinton edges Biden 46%-43%. Both DeSantis and Trump would defeat Clinton by 13 and 7 points, respectively.

“Ironically, this 2024 Florida case study could be the narrative of the 2022 midterms: party nominees, who are strong within their party but less popular among the general electorate, could win their respective party primaries but falter in the general election,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.

Despite DeSantis’ larger lead over Biden, in a hypothetical head-to-head Republican Primary between Trump and DeSantis, Trump leads the Florida governor by 7 points (47%-40%).

The survey also reported that DeSantis and incumbent Senator Marco Rubio are leading their 2022 re-election bids.

In the 2022 race for governor, DeSantis leads former Governor Charlie Crist 49% to 41%, with 8% undecided. DeSantis also leads Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried 51% to 40%, with 9% undecided.

Likewise, voters preferred Rubio by 49% over Congressman Val Demings who was the choice of 41% of those surveyed. 10% say they were undecided in that race.

“On the surface, it looks like a longshot bid for Val Demings, who trails by 8 points with just 10% undecided,” Paleologos added. “But the familiar-with-both candidates data point suggests that as Demings introduces herself to more voters, her deficit could narrow, giving her the potential to flip the seat.”

The statewide survey was conducted January 26-29 using likely voters in the 2022 midterm elections. The margin of error for the survey is +/-4.4 percentage points. The subset of 164 likely 2024 Democratic Primary voters for president has a margin of error of +/-7.6 percentage points, while the subset of 176 likely 2024 Republican Primary voters for president has a margin of error of +/-7.4 percentage points.

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