Former President Trump leads Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) by 4 percentage points for a hypothetical 2024 GOP presidential nomination among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in a new poll.
The CNN survey found 40 percent of the Republican respondents said they’d most likely support Trump, who launched his campaign for another White House term back in November. DeSantis, who hasn’t officially said he’ll run but is widely expected to enter the race, earned 36 percent.
Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who was the first major Republican to challenge the former president, came in 30 points below DeSantis, with just 6 percent saying they’d most likely support her.
Tied with Haley was former Vice President Mike Pence, who has not announced a bid.
Adding together separate responses, only 22 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents prefer someone other than Trump or DeSantis for the GOP nomination.
The new poll results are in line with a number of other recent surveys showing Trump ahead of DeSantis, but with the Florida governor as a clear major competitor for the former president. DeSantis has hinted that he’ll make a decision on whether to run after his state’s legislative session ends in May.
Trump knocked DeSantis in his first Iowa speech of the campaign on Monday, and has called the governor a RINO, or Republican in name only.
Conducted March 8-12, the new CNN poll surveyed 1,045 Republicans or Republican-leaning independents and had a margin of sampling error of 3.8 percentage points.