Republicans Want Ron DeSantis as Donald Trump's 2024 Running Mate: Poll

GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is first choice among Republicans for whom Donald Trump should pick as his running mate if he seeks the 2024 presidency, with Mike Pence coming in second place, according to a survey.

A new Morning Consult/Politico poll revealed 27 percent of Republican voters believed Trump should pick DeSantis as his potential vice president, compared to 15 percent who wanted Pence.

Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, came third with 12 percent. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz placed fourth with 9 percent when respondents were asked whom they would like to see as Trump's Republican running mate.

Morning Consult notes that those taking part in the survey were not informed of Trump's recent comments in which he appeared to dismiss the suggestion that Pence could return as his No. 2 as he did in the 2016 and 2020 election campaigns.

Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Trump signaled that his relationship with Pence might be beyond repair after the former president failed to stop his VP from certifying the 2020 election results in Congress last January 6, despite the fact Pence did not have the power to do so in his purely ceremonial role as presiding officer of the Senate.

"Mike and I had a great relationship except for the very important factor that took place at the end. We had a very good relationship," Trump said. "I haven't spoken to him in a long time."

Pence told Fox News in January that he and Trump had not spoken for months due to the fallout, as Trump blamed him for not overturning the election results based on false claims of widespread election fraud.

Elsewhere in the Morning Consult poll, DeSantis (13 percent) beat Pence (10 percent) to second place in the race for preferred GOP presidential nominees. The Florida governor is the overwhelming favorite alternative among Republicans who do not want to see Trump in the White House again.

However, Trump is still far and away the most popular candidate within his party for the 2024 ticket, with more than half of respondents (56 percent) naming him as their preferred choice. The poll also found that 82 percent of Republicans still viewed Trump favorably, compared with 17 percent who held unfavorable views of the former president.

According to a collection of national polls since November 2021, compiled by the Polling USA Twitter account, Trump was polling at 52.5 percent on average as of March 17, with DeSantis a distant second at 18.7 percent. Pence was even further behind in third, receiving an average of 9.3 percent among the GOP's preferred 2024 picks.

The Morning Consult/Politico poll was conducted between March 18 and 21 among 729 registered Republican voters. It had a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.

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Former President Donald Trump welcomes Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to the stage during a campaign rally at the Pensacola International Airport in Florida on November 3, 2018. Polling of GOP voters done in the third week of March 2022 found DeSantis to be the preferred running mate for Trump if the former president seeks office in 2024. Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images