ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A new survey finds Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis surging on a list of potential Republican candidates for president in 2024, though there remains one person still ahead of him.
That's former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis would be Republican voters' top choice if Trump weren't running for president, however. The poll found 39 percent of voters would choose DeSantis, with former Vice President Mike Pence coming in second at 15 percent.
The governor's standing is a 22-point improvement since a poll taken earlier this year showed the former vice president besting DeSantis.
Trump captured 47 percent of Republican voters if he entered the race, with DeSantis falling way behind at 19 percent. Politico first reported the new survey as yet another indication that Trump remains the leader of the Republican Party.
"For all the talk of the party moving on from Trump, it’s not the case. If he runs, he’s still the 800-pound gorilla," Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio told the outlet. "But while it’s Trump’s party, there is a clear successor — and that’s DeSantis.
"He’s the crown prince."
It's the latest survey showing DeSantis in good favor with Republicans but just behind Trump if the two were in a head-to-head matchup. DeSantis got 68 percent of the vote among attendees at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
If Trump were in the mix, Trump received 70 percent of the vote, with DeSantis at 21 percent.
The poll was conducted between July 6-8 nationwide with 800 known voters who are registered Republicans or affiliate as Republicans. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.46 percent.
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