Trump would beat DeSantis in 2024, as Biden approval rate remains underwater, new poll finds

Key Points
  • Former President Donald Trump holds a lead of 30 percentage points over his potential challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a hypothetical 2024 Republican primary, a new poll found.
  • In the event of a potential rematch between President Joe Biden and Trump in 2024, the Democrat holds an edge of 4 percentage points, the Emerson College survey found.
  • The poll found that 52% of voters believe Congress should keep investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot by a mob of Trump supporters.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speak at midterm election rallies, in Dayton, Ohio, U.S. November 7, 2022 and Tampa, Florida, U.S., November 8, 2022 in a combination of file photos. 
Gaelen Morse | Reuters

Ex-President Donald Trump would defeat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by a wide margin in a hypothetical 2024 Republican presidential primary, according to a new poll.

Trump received 55% of Republican registered voters' support, while DeSantis, his potential rival for the White House nomination, received just 25%, the Emerson College poll found.

That survey was taken last week on the heels of Trump's announcement that he would run for the White House in two years, and after DeSantis crushed his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist in the Florida governor's race.

On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden's approval rating was just 39%, while 53% disapprove of the job he is doing, according to the poll.

That is statistically the same result as the approval ratings seen for Biden in the prior Emerson national poll taken shortly before the November midterm elections.

Trump will not be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, says former Sen. Judd Gregg
Trump will not be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, says former Sen. Judd Gregg

And in a potential rematch of the 2020 election in 2024, Biden would defeat Trump by a margin of 45% to 41%, the survey found.

If DeSantis were the 2024 GOP nominee, he would lose to Biden by the same margin, according to the poll, which found the Democratic incumbent would garner 43% of the vote, compared to 39% for the governor.

When asked about their preference for their party's nominee in 2024, the Democrats who responded to the poll overwhelmingly picked Biden over Vice President Kamala Harris. A total of 42% of Democrats wanted Biden to be the nominee, compared to just 17% for Harris, and 12% for Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont.

Trump, whose decision to announce his latest candidacy two years before the election may have been spurred in part because of DeSantis' growing national profile, crowed up the poll in a statement Tuesday.

"For all RINOS [Republicans in Name Only], Never Trumpers, Radical Left Democrats and, of course, the Fake News Media, please enjoy this latest poll from highly respected Emerson College," Trump said in a statement Tuesday.

"I'm sure you will be thrilled!" Trump added.

The poll noted an education divide exists among Republican primary voters, according to Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling.

Voters with a high school degree or less support Trump by 71%. Voters with a college degree, some college, or an associate's degree support him by 53%.

Republican voters with a postgraduate degree support Trump the least, at 32%.

Among other findings, both Democratic and Republican respondents saw the economy as the most important issue, followed by threats to democracy, immigration, abortion, health care and crime, respectively.

Additionally, 52% of voters believe Congress should keep investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot by a mob of Trump supporters who disrupted the certification of the Electoral College victory by Biden, with 39% saying Congress should drop the probe.

The survey was conducted between Nov. 18 and 19 with a sample of 1,380 registered voters and a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.