Whom do Republicans want as their 2024 presidential nominee?

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
December 01, 2022, 2:08 PM GMT+0

Donald Trump won the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, despite having less than 50% of voters' support for most of the primary season, by being the clear leader in an otherwise divided Republican field. Looking ahead to 2024, 58% of Republicans say they want the former president to run again, but as of now, he is not as dominant as he proved to be in 2016. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, one potential candidate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, trails Trump among Republicans by only 6 percentage points among Republicans when they are choosing from a list of eight possible nominees — or selecting "someone else." (DeSantis led Trump among Republicans in several YouGov polls earlier in November.)

Two in five Republicans describe themselves as MAGA Republicans. Half of this group (49%) favors Donald Trump as the Republican nominee in 2024. But some want to move on to the next generation: 11% of MAGA Republicans say they’d prefer Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., as the party’s 2024 nominee.

Many non-MAGA Republicans — who account for 47% of all Republicans — are looking beyond former President Trump in the next election: 38% favor DeSantis as the nominee, while just 24% favor Trump. Half as many — 12% — would like Mike Pence, who was vice president under Trump, to become the 2024 nominee.

Beyond their preferences for their party's 2024 presidential nominee, most Republicans like Trump: 79% have a favorable opinion of him. Two-thirds of Republicans believe that he, not President Joe Biden, was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. (Two-thirds of all adults, including 94% of Democrats and 62% of Independents, say Biden was the legitimate winner).

Most Democrats are not convinced that Biden should run for reelection in 2024. Only 39% believe he should run, while the rest are equally likely to say he should not run again or say they aren’t sure what he should do.

– Carl Bialik contributed to this article

Polling by the Economist/YouGov was conducted on November 26 - 29, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.

Image: Getty Images (Joe Raedle / Staff)