Speed Reads

Call it: Diet Trump

Republican voters want Trumpism without Trump by 2-to-1: Poll

As former President Donald Trump struggles to gain traction with his nascent re-election bid, there are new signs that Republican voters may be ready to turn the page on the man who has become their party's most defining figure. 

According to a just-released USA Today/Suffolk University poll, GOP voters are significantly more excited about a potential presidential run from Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) than Trump's candidacy, with 65 percent of respondents indicating they want DeSantis in the race. More than half of the respondents said they preferred him over Trump, whose overall approval rating has dropped to 30 percent.

"DeSantis outpolls Trump not only among the general electorate, but also among these Republican-leaning voters who have been the former president's base," Suffolk University Political Research Center Director David Paleologos said in a release accompanying the polling data. "Republicans and conservative independents increasingly want Trumpism without Trump."

The poll also shows DeSantis beating President Biden in a head-to-head race, 47 percent to 43, just outside its 3.1 point margin of error for all 1,000 respondents who participated between December 7-11. That data is tempered slightly by a separate poll also released Tuesday from Morning Consult, which shows Biden and DeSantis effectively tied at 42 percent apiece among approximately 7,000 respondents over roughly the same time period. That same data showed Biden narrowly defeating Trump 43 percent to 41. 

However, as Suffolk's polling suggest, voters are similarly unenthusiastic about a second Biden term, with more than 67 percent of overall voters indicating they don't want the president to run again. Trump fared only slightly worse among overall respondents, with 69 percent saying they were opposed to his new campaign for the White House.