A new poll from OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) focusing on the potential Republican candidates for Arizona’s 2024 primary election found that voters favor former President Donald Trump or Florida Governor Ron DeSantis by a wide margin as their choice for president.
“Trump’s hold over the GOP electorate is firm, and when it comes down to it, Arizona Republicans see DeSantis as a viable alternative,” said Mike Noble, OHPI Chief of Research. “DeSantis is a suitable bridge between the two ends of the party, although as long as Trump is in the mix, it’s still a tough hill for DeSantis to climb.”
The statewide survey found that Republican voters back the former president by a strong 42 percent plurality, with Governor Ron DeSantis in second place at 26 percent. Former Vice-President Mike Pence trails in a distant third place at eight percent, while Nikki Haley and Liz Cheney are tied at five percent each.
“Any other contender hoping to battle for the GOP nomination will need to make a big splash with Republicans soon, before campaign dollars start to come into effect,” Noble said.
OHPI conducted the GOP potential presidential primary candidates poll of 350 registered Arizona Republicans from January 31 – February 9. The margin of error, they report, is 5.24 percent.
Donald Trump (42%) is running nearly 20 points ahead of his nearest Republican competition (DeSantis, 26%) in a 2024 GOP primary. No other potential candidate has double-digit support.https://t.co/y6JlgMsXFw
— OHPI (@OHPredictive) February 28, 2023
Although there is heavy speculation that he will begin a campaign sometime this year, DeSantis has not officially announced a presidential run.
OHPI also questioned what direction Republicans want the party and officials to go in the future. The respondents were asked, between Trump and former Gov. Doug Ducey, who future Republicans should act and think like. Trump overwhelmingly won 48 percent in favor compared to Ducey’s 30 percent.
Should Trump win the primary as currently projected and go head-to-head with Biden again, OHPI found that the results in 2024 would mirror those of 2020, with Biden predicted to have a slight two percent lead over Trump. However, if DeSantis becomes the Republican nominee, the poll showed him slightly winning Arizona by 1 percent. When surveyed, most Democrats and Republicans responded they would be loyal to their respective nominees. Therefore, Noble found the difference maker in the 2024 election would likely be independent voters, who seem more inclined to support DeSantis over Trump.
“Independents are middle-of-the-road voters by nature, and it’s not always easy to know which party they are more likely to support,” said Noble. “What this data tells me is that, as of now, Arizona Independents are slightly more in favor of DeSantis than the current President.”
The head-to-head responses came from a larger survey OHPI conducted from January 31 – February 9, which contacted 1,000 registered voters from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in Arizona. This survey focused on the potential 2024 Presidential election and had a three percent margin of error (MOE).
“Independents are middle-of-the-road voters by nature; it’s not always easy to know which party they are more likely to support. What this data shows is, as of now, AZ INDs are slightly more in favor of DeSantis than the current President.” –@MikePNoblehttps://t.co/V9rQvGnjPG pic.twitter.com/eq9Y2qyaGd
— OHPI (@OHPredictive) February 24, 2023
As of January 2023, Arizonans with no party affiliation make up 34 percent of voters in the state, making them the second-largest voting group. Republicans barely hold a 0.68 percent lead, while Democrats trail both groups at 30 percent of the voter population.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Governor Ron DeSantis. Background Photo “Election Day” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.