Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis remains the most formidable challenger to former President Trump’s aim of becoming the Republican presidential nominee but new polls show is support could be slipping. A new Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll released Friday has Trump leading DeSantis 46 percent to 23 percent which marks a 5-point drop for the governor since last month.
Even more concerning for DeSantis is his standing in a hypothetical primary field without Trump. Without Trump in the race, 39 percent of GOP voters say they would back DeSantis which is 10 points lower than where he stood in January.
Former Vice President Mike Pence on the other hand saw a rise in support, up to 17 percent in the same poll. Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina governor, grew her support to 10 percent, 5 points higher than where she stood last month.
According to The Hill:
Haley became the first Republican to formally challenge Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination this week when she announced that she would mount a bid for the White House.
To be sure, DeSantis still remains a force to be reckoned with. Even with Trump in the race, he’s still leading his next closest rival, Pence, by a double-digit margin. What’s more, he has yet to actually announce a presidential bid and isn’t expected to do so for months.
In a hypothetical head-to-head match-up between Trump and DeSantis, the former president also comes out on top, beating the Florida governor 56 percent to 44 percent. That’s a different finding than in many other recent polls, which have shown DeSantis gaining the edge over Trump in a one-on-one race.
The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey was conducted Feb. 15-16 and surveyed 1,838 registered voters. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll.