Republicans prefer Ron DeSantis to Donald Trump as their 2024 presidential nominee

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
November 17, 2022, 12:10 AM GMT+0

Nowhere is the impact of the Republican Party's election underperformance more apparent than in changes in how Republicans view former President Donald Trump, who announced his 2024 candidacy Tuesday, after the close of the latest Economist/YouGov Poll. Before the election, 60% of Republicans wanted Trump to run again in 2024. In the latest poll, just 47% do — a drop of 13 percentage points in just a little more than one week. Support for Trump running again dropped as much among Republicans who identify as part of the MAGA movement as among those who do not.

And when it comes to a 2024 matchup between the former president and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — who won reelection last week by a margin of nearly 20 points — the numbers also look bad for Trump: Republicans prefer DeSantis over Trump by 46% to 39%.

As for congressional Republicans, current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also seen his ratings fall among Republicans. Just before the election, 37% of Republicans had a favorable opinion of McConnell, while 50% viewed him unfavorably. One week after the election, the share of Republicans with a favorable view of him has dropped 5 points to 32%, while the share with an unfavorable opinion is up 8 points, to 58%.

Republican opinion of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who was just nominated by Republicans as House Speaker, remained relatively consistent just before and after the election, with about half of Republicans saying they have a favorable opinion of him. But this doesn't mean that Republicans are united around his nomination as speaker: Just 37% say they want him to remain as the House's GOP leader, while 15% say they want "some other Republican." Half are either not sure or say they don't care. Democrats, on the other hand, are more united around Nancy Pelosi as their House leader: 52% say she should remain the Democratic House leader while 9% say they'd prefer "some other Democrat."

– Carl Bialik contributed to this article

Polling by the Economist/YouGov was conducted on November 13 - 15, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.

Image: Getty (Octavio Jones / Stringer)