Poll: Trump would beat DeSantis in a Florida GOP primary, but DeSantis would do better against Biden

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) would lose to former President Donald Trump in the state's 2024 GOP primary but would perform better than Trump in a general election matchup with President Biden, according a Suffolk University/USA TODAY network poll.

The poll found that, in a hypothetical 2024 primary matchup between the former president and the incumbent governor, Trump would beat DeSantis 47-40.

Despite the apparent gap, USA Today noted Wednesday that Trump's lead does fall within the poll's 7.4 percent margin of error, suggesting a "very close race."

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According to the poll, either GOP candidate would win Florida over Biden, but DeSantis would perform better.

Trump leads Biden 47-44 among Florida voters likely to vote in the 2022 gubernatorial election, while DeSantis is projected to defeat the incumbent president 52-44.

The error margin for the general election polling is only 4.4 percent, meaning Trump's lead is within the margin of error but DeSantis' is not.

The poll also predicted that Hillary Clinton would defeat Biden in Florida's Democratic primary, though her three-point margin of victory is significantly smaller than the Democratic primary polling's 7.4-point error margin.

Florida has become an increasingly red state in recent years. It's the only state in which Trump increased his margin of victory from 2016 to 2020, and last November the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that, for the first time in state history, Florida has more registered Republicans than registered Democrats.

The poll surveyed 500 adults and was conducted via telephone between Jan. 26 and 29.

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Grayson Quay

Grayson Quay was the weekend editor at TheWeek.com. His writing has also been published in National Review, the Pittsburgh Post-GazetteModern AgeThe American ConservativeThe Spectator World, and other outlets. Grayson earned his M.A. from Georgetown University in 2019.