Analysis by Alex Caldwell | Photo: Alamy
As the 2024 presidential primaries draw nearer, early polling data has shown that President Donald Trump has grown his lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to its largest since December.
In the latest poll from Morning Consult, Trump led the primary field by 38 points, carrying 57 percent support. DeSantis came in second with 19 percent, whose support fell 14 points from his 33 percent high in February 2023.
Other Republicans polled included former Vice President Mike Pence (7 percent), businessman Vivek Ramaswamy (6 percent), former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley (3 percent), Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. (3 percent), former Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. (2 percent), and former Gov. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark. (1 percent).
Other GOP candidates such as Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, and former Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, each received less than 1 percent support.
In a general election matchup, Trump fared best against Joe Biden, according to the poll of 6,000 Registered Voters.
Trump defeated Biden by three points (44 percent to 41 percent), while DeSantis lost to Biden by two points (42 percent to 40 percent).
The 45th president also held the highest favorability rating among candidates, with a 76 percent approval among Republicans, while DeSantis held a 67 percent favorability rating among party members.
The winner of the 2024 election will also likely need to carry several high-stakes rustbelt states, including Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
As previously reported by RSBN, a May poll from Big Data Poll gave the 45th president a seven-point lead over Biden in the Rustbelt (45 percent to 38 percent).
Meanwhile, DeSantis lost the Rustbelt to Biden by four points (38 percent to 34 percent), according to the poll tweeted by Trump’s spokeswoman Liz Harrington.
Winning back the Rustbelt could prove to be what paves Trump’s road to victory in 2024.
Assuming he holds all of the states he won in 2020, he could lose the sunbelt states of Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada, and still win the election if he won three of the four states of Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin.
Trump could also lose two of the rustbelt states, and win if he picked up just one sunbelt state to win the Electoral College.
Meanwhile, if DeSantis lost the Rustbelt, he would need to hold all of the Trump 2020 states, flip Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada, and then pick off a blue state like Maine, New Hampshire, or Virginia in order to defeat Biden.
If the polling data holds true, Trump will have the best odds of any candidate of defeating Biden in 2024.