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The American Spirit of Resilience

Republican Voters Prefer DeSantis to Trump as the GOP Leader, New Poll Shows

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Late last month, a new poll showed that former President Donald Trump would win in an election against President Joe Biden in 2024. This poll came as Biden’s average approval rating for 2022 showed he was underwater. 

Now, Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are running on the Republican ticket for 2024. Several reports have indicated that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could run as well. A poll published this week showed whether voters would prefer Trump or DeSantis to lead the Republican Party.

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll published Tuesday found that 22 percent of Republicans said that DeSantis is their preferred leader for the Republican Party. Twenty percent said that they would prefer former President Donald Trump. Thirty-four percent said they do not know or would not answer.

As for Democrats, less than half of Democratic voters said they believe President Joe Biden is the leader of their party, despite the fact that he’s currently in the White House. When asked who “should” lead the Democratic Party, only 12 percent of Democrats said Biden. 

Overall, only 19 percent of adults in the poll said they have a “positive view” of Congress’ job performance. This includes 20 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of Republicans. Seventy-nine percent of adults surveyed said they disapprove of Congress’ job performance (via AP-NORC):

While Democrats and Republicans have similarily critical views about Congress as a whole, they hold negative views about the other party’s congressional leaders.  Only 10% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, or the new House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.  Similarly, only 10% of Democrats have a favorable opinion of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and 6% have a favorable opinion of the new Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.

The poll showed that Republicans are more negative than positive about Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Most Republicans and Democrats in the poll said they would like to see some compromise in Congress. 

Overall, the public has “little optimism” about politics in the United States. A majority, 63 percent, are pessimistic about the state of politics while 15 percent are optimistic and 21 percent say they feel neither pessimistic or optimistic. Forty-six percent are pessimistic about  the way leaders in the United States are chosen. On the other hand, 23 percent are optimistic, and 30 percent are neither. 


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