New polling suggests it’s time for Pennsylvania’s Republican primary voters to put some serious thought into the GOP actually winning a statewide election in Pennsylvania — a feat President Trump accomplished in 2016, but failed to repeat in 2020. A raft of recent polling nationally and in Pennsylvania suggests voters would likely favor Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over a second Biden term — with Trump consistently polling behind Biden in crucial swing states.
The McClatchy DC poll found that former President Donald Trump trails Biden by a thin margin, both in Pennsylvania and formerly ruby-red Arizona.
The poll, conducted and released this month by the GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies, was meant to gauge the viability of likely presidential candidates in the 2024 general election. In Pennsylvania, the poll has DeSantis leading Biden by 45 percent to 42 percent, while Trump trailed Biden at 42 percent to 46 percent — margins that Republican primary voters in Pennsylvania can ill-afford to ignore.
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In formerly ruby-red Arizona, the results of the poll were the same: the survey found DeSantis leading Biden 48–42. Trump trails Biden among Arizona voters, 44–55. Arizona, a former Republican stronghold, trended heavily Democratic while President Trump was in office, and in 2022 elected a Democratic Senator and Democratic governor for the first time in generations.
President Trump shocked Pennsylvania’s political world in 2016 by flipping Pennsylvania red for the first time since 1988. Independent voters, women, and suburban voters quickly soured on the former President while in office, and he was not able to accomplish the feat again in 2020, losing to now-President Biden in the Keystone State by 80,000 votes — mostly due to shifts in Philadelphia’s vote-rich suburbs.
In 2022, Trump-endorsed candidates Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz failed in their bids for Pa. Governor and U.S. Senate, respectively, delivering a loss to Pennsylvania Republicans. Republicans failed to flip a single U.S. House seat, and lost the state house to Democrats for the first time in a decade.
DeSantis, who is widely-expected to announce his candidacy for President after Florida’s state legislature session ends in May, seems to be the most likely Republican to successfully take on Trump in a Republican primary. Other announced candidates, such as former South Carolina Governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, have not yet cracked double-digits in most national polls of Republican voters.
With a long way to go until the first Republican primaries and caucuses in 2024, voters can expect daily polling updates to track the candidates — and may be well aware of a tough fight with incumbent President Biden up ahead.
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