(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden leads Donald Trump in a hypothetical 2024 general election match-up but trails Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as Republicans consider who would be the most electable standard-bearer.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found Biden would defeat Trump 48% to 46% if the 2024 presidential election was held today, but that Biden would lose to DeSantis by that same margin. The difference is due to more independent voters favoring the Florida governor, who hasn’t formally declared his candidacy but is widely expected to run, the survey showed.
Trump has a clear lead over DeSantis for the GOP nomination in most early polls, including a 47% to 33% advantage among Republican and GOP-leaning voters in the Quinnipiac survey. But with Trump facing multiple investigations and being blamed for Republicans’ disappointing midterm election results last year, questions loom about whether he can attract enough independent and suburban voters to win a general election.
Underscoring that issue, DeSantis had an edge over Trump among voters who self-identified as leaning Republican, despite Trump’s 14-point margin among all Republican voters.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who’s considering a White House bid, had 5% support overall, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley had 4%, and none of the 11 other candidates or potential candidates topped 2% in the poll.
“Is the raucous Trump political resurrection adrift? Not in the least,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said in a release. “DeSantis appears to be treading water and the long list of ‘wannabes’ and ‘could bes’ are barely staying afloat.”
Trump has said he expects to be charged in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation related to hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. He also faces state and federal probes into his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss and his handling of classified documents.
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The Quinnipiac poll found that a majority of Americans and independent voters think criminal charges should disqualify Trump from running for president again, but fewer than a quarter of Republican voters do.
Trump has said the investigations against him are politically motivated to prevent him from returning to power, and while 55% of registered voters in the Quinnipiac poll said the New York allegations are very or somewhat serious, 62% think the case is more motivated by politics than the law.
The poll surveyed 1,788 US adults nationwide from March 23-27 with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.3 percentage points. The survey included 1,600 self-identified registered voters with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.5 percentage points and 671 Republican and GOP-leaning voters with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.8 percentage points.
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