Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leads former President Trump by 23 points among Republicans in a hypothetical GOP presidential primary, according to a USA Today-Suffolk University poll released Tuesday.
The poll found that 56 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters prefer DeSantis, while only 33 percent would support Trump.
More than 60 percent of the Republican voters said they want a nominee who will continue the election loser’s policies but is not Trump, while only 31 percent want the former president to run.
“Republicans and conservative independents increasingly want Trumpism without Trump,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
DeSantis recently won re-election by a landslide in Florida, while Republicans in the rest of the country failed to achieve the predicted ‘red wave’ after a large number of contenders endorsed by Trump went down in defeat.
Although he has not announced any plans to seek the 2024 GOP nomination for president, DeSantis has emerged as a favorite among Republican voters, who are either repulsed by the 2020 election loser’s antics or just ready to move on from his lies about the factors that resulted in his rejection from the White House.
Meanwhile, his detractors say DeSantis is more dangerous to the democratic republic, citing his action to remove a Democrat elected as county prosecutor, disruption of a government system that empowered the Disney corporation to self-administer its Orlando area resort, interfere with teachers in the classroom, and abuse of tax dollars for political purposes.
DeSantis also created a special police force to harass and intimidate voters after citizens restored the right to cast ballots to people who were disenfranchised following conviction of crimes but had completed their sentences.