Trump leads GOP primary with DeSantis as runner-up: poll

Trump won a hypothetical race against Biden by 5% and against Harris by 6%, the poll showed.

Updated: December 18, 2022 - 9:34am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Former President Donald Trump is the top choice for the 2024 Republican presidential primary, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis coming in as the runner-up, according to a new poll.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll released Friday found that 48% of GOP voters said they would support Trump if the primary were held today, while 25% said they would vote for DeSantis. If Trump does not run in 2024, 48% of GOP voters said they would support DeSantis, with former Vice President Mike Pence as the runner-up with 15% support.

Among GOP voters, if given the choice in the primaries between only Trump or DeSantis, 55% said they would vote for Trump and 45% said they would support DeSantis. However, when including independent voters in the hypothetical GOP primary between only DeSantis and Trump, the Florida governor comes in at 52% to the former president's 48%.

Democratic voters, meanwhile, are somewhat less unanimous in their presidential primary pick. The poll showed that 36% of Democrats would vote for President Joe Biden in the 2024 primaries, while 10% would vote for Vice President Kamala Harris. Other notable contenders are Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 7%, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also at 7%, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg at 6%, and although she is not old enough to run, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is coming in at 5%.

Trump could win against the top two possible Democratic nominees. The former president won a hypothetical race against Biden by 5% and against Harris by 6%, the poll showed. 

DeSantis would also defeat both Democratic front-runner candidates, albeit by not as large of a margin as Trump, with the poll showing him ahead of Biden by 4% and ahead of Harris by 5%.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll was conducted from Dec. 14-15 with 1,851 registered voters.