Texas Republicans prefer Ron DeSantis to Donald Trump for 2024, a new GOP poll has found

Republican voters in Texas support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election over former President Donald Trump, according to a new poll commissioned by the Texas Republican Party.

The poll asked voters likely to contest the 2024 Texas Republican primary which they would vote for out of six Republican candidates, including DeSantis and Trump. DeSantis was the first choice, with 43% of respondents saying they would vote for him if the primary were held today. Trump came in second with 32%. Support for DeSantis among voters surveyed rose to 66% when asked about a situation where Trump would not run again in 2024.

Trump is expected to officially announce his candidacy for a second term as president on Tuesday evening. However, he has taken pressure off the party over the past week due to the weaker-than-expected performance of the Republicans he supported in the midterm elections.

In addition to Trump and DeSantis, the poll asked for support for four other potential candidates: former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, US Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, and former CIA director and former Secretary of State Mike pompeo. These candidates received single-digit support from pollsters. Neither US Senator Ted Cruz, who previously ran for the nomination against Trump, nor Gov. Greg Abbott, who is considered a possible contender, were questioned in the poll.

On November 12-13, CWS Research surveyed 1,099 respondents through online polls and interactive voice calls based on demographics likely to vote in the 2024 Texas primary. The error rate of the survey was +/- 3 percentage points.

In October, CWS conducted a similar poll for Texas Liberty PAC, which found Trump voting ahead of DeSantis, with 46% of respondents voting for the former president and 29% voting for the Florida governor in a hypothetical 2024 primary. DeSantis support rose to 64% in a situation where Trump would decline to run. Instead of Scott and Pompeo, this poll included Cruz and Abbott in the list of six potential candidates. Cruz ended up last with 3%, and Abbott had 4% of respondents saying they supported him. That support rose to 8% for each of them in a scenario where Trump did not run.

CWS Research is a new Republican pollster who started this election cycle and works primarily for the far-right Defend Texas Liberty PAC. His last nationwide poll ahead of the Nov. 8 election accurately predicted Abbott’s 11-point winning margin.

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/11/14/texas-voters-ron-desantis-donald-trump/.

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