Ron DeSantis Is the Clear Trump Alternative for Republicans

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is overwhelmingly the favorite potential Republican presidential candidate for voters who don't want Donald Trump to run in 2024, according to a survey.

The CNN poll, published on Sunday and conducted by SSRS, found that 21 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independent potential voters who would prefer the GOP nominate a candidate other than Trump backed DeSantis as their main choice.

No other potential GOP pick listed in the survey, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan or the former president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., received more than 1 percent.

The biggest response for who should lead the GOP in 2024 was "just someone besides Donald Trump" at 60 percent, with "other/unsure" getting 12 percent.

In total, 50 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said they wanted Trump to be the GOP candidate in 2024, with 49 percent stating they want a new candidate.

When those surveyed were asked why they don't want Trump to run again, 22 percent said they don't believe he can beat the Democrats at the next election.

When broken down into more specific answers, 9 percent said they want someone "new/better" with 7 percent said that Trump is "too polarizing/disliked/divisive."

At the start of February, Irish betting company Paddy Power dramatically slashed the betting odds of DeSantis winning the 2024 presidential election thanks to his improving poll numbers over the past year.

Paddy Power was offering odds of 9/1 on DeSantis to win the 2024 presidential election, down from 66/1 in February 2021.

"Trump is so entangled in his web of legal battles that his wide lead in the polls is diminishing, leaving the door wide open to DeSantis to crawl his way into contention," a Paddy Power spokesperson told Newsweek.

Viable Candidate in Florida

Polls also suggest that DeSantis is considered a particularly viable candidate in the state of Florida when up against Trump.

According to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll published on February 1, Trump was the first choice of 47 percent of those surveyed, while DeSantis was preferred by 40 percent in a hypothetical head-to-head, with a 7.4 percent margin of error.

The result is a reminder that Trump may not have the same influence in Florida as he did in 2016, when he heavily defeated Senator Marco Rubio by 45.7 percent to 27 percent.

"DeSantis is competitive in this poll, even against the former president," David Paleologos, director of the Boston-based Suffolk University Political Research Center, told USA Today.

While DeSantis is by far the leading GOP candidate when Trump is taken out of the equation, the former president is still the overwhelming favorite to lead the GOP in 2024.

According to a collection of national polls since November 2021, compiled by the Polling USA Twitter account, as of February 10 Trump's average polling stands at 51.7 percent, with the Florida governor a distant second on 21 percent.

Pence is the third choice of potential GOP presidential candidates for 2024, but he is only polling at 9 percent on average.

DeSantis has been contacted for comment.

desantis trump poll
Ron DeSantis speaks with Donald Trump at a campaign rally at the Pensacola International Airport on November 3, 2018, in Pensacola, Florida. The Florida governor is the overwhelming favorite Republican presidential candidate for voters who do not want Trump to run in 2024, according to a survey. Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images