The former US President launched his 2024 Presidential bid last month, expecting to benefit from an expected ‘red wave’ of Republican victories in the midterm elections. However, the real estate mogul cut a sullen figure at his election night party at his Mar-a-Lago residence as the Democrats retained control of the Senate and Republicans only narrowly took control of the House.
With Ron DeSantis’ landslide victory in the Florida gubernatorial election, there was also a feeling that the Republican crown is slipping away from the New York-born billionaire.
The performance of Trump-endorsed candidates was mediocre, with only JD Vance in Ohio winning a clear high-profile victory, while Pennsylvania Senate hopeful Dr Mehmet Oz and Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon were defeated.
Mr. Trump’s popularity with Republicans, which was previously sky-high before the midterm elections, now appears to be in decline.
A recent USA Today/Suffolk poll revealed that Trump’s favorability among Republican voters had dropped from 75 percent in October to 64 percent this month.
This poll showed that Ron DeSantis, his likely rival for the Republican nomination, would beat him in a head-to-head 56 percent to 33 percent.
A similar Wall Street Journal poll found that DeSantis would beat Trump 52 percent to 38 percent.
A Quinnipiac poll puts Mr Trump’s favorability with Republicans at 70 percent, his lowest figure since March 2016.
In a YouGov poll published earlier this month, Mr DeSantis also had an advantage compared to the former Apprentice star.
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Among the 17 percent who identify as “strong” Republicans, 53 percent back Mr. Trump compared to 39 percent for Mr. DeSantis, indicating that this MAGA base is still behind him.
Among the 19 percent who identify as “not very strong Republicans” or independents who lean Republican, DeSantis leads Trump by 44 percent to 32 percent.
Despite not even announcing a presidential bid, Mr DeSantis appears to have overtaken Mr Trump as the likely 2024 nominee, arguably because of his appeal of continuing Trump’s policies without the accompanying baggage that has made Trump unpopular with the wider American public.