A big win for Republicans in Virginia has those on the right chomping at the bit for the 2024 election. Our analysts at Liberty Nation could smell Democratic defeat a couple of weeks ago and felt our readers might be ready to talk about their political dreams, hopes, and wishes. So, we conducted an unscientific survey asking a fundamental question: “If the 2024 Republican presidential nomination comes down to a choice between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, which candidate would you prefer?” By a margin of 63% to 37%, Trump crushed DeSantis. When we posed a second question: “Who is more likely to beat the Democrat presidential nominee in 2024?” Trump won again with only 1% fewer votes – 62% for Trump and 38% for DeSantis. While the numbers seem straightforward, the comments our readers offered were quite revealing.
It’s All About the Baggage
Those who preferred Mr. DeSantis over Trump were concerned about the former president carrying his political baggage into the upcoming presidential contest. “Trump [is] a bit too polarizing; he is capable but has significant baggage,” was a common refrain. Others were anxious that Trump-haters were still on the warpath and felt the former president might easily capture the GOP nod but would have trouble in a general election. “DeSantis comes across less abrasively as Trump,” one respondent noted. The “a” word – abrasive – was used frequently; “DeSantis is smart but not abrasive or narcissistic. He is reasonable and could run rings around Kamala Harris,” wrote one LN reader.
Others were more pragmatic. “Appreciate Trump for what he did. We need a candidate that can be a two-term president,” opined one reader. Another worried, “Trump will be too old in 2024.” Yet another reader waxed:
“I voted for Trump and still support him, however after witnessing 4 years of constant attack against him, from every side, including forces that I believe exist in the unseen world, I’m almost certain that Trump could NOT win another term. The powers that be will never allow it to happen. They didn’t allow him to win in 2020, through a rigged election. Why does anyone believe he has a better chance in 2024?
“DeSantis could potentially win not only Trump voters, but Independents and maybe some disgruntled Democrats that would never vote for Trump. Personally, I like Rand Paul, but I know he would never be nominated. I believe it really doesn’t matter who the Republicans put up at this point, because the Democrats will steal ANY election going forward.”
Trump Comes Out On Top
But the majority of respondents were ready to extol Mr. Trump’s virtues:
- “He can make America great again. He did it once!”
- “Trump is a fearless defender of The Constitution.”
- “Truthful and always puts Americans first!”
- “PDJT gave us good governance with good policies and good outcomes.”
- “Trump has proven he will buck the system; he just needs the right team around him.”
- “Trump fights for the American people, our military and our borders.”
For sure, Mr. Trump’s base is still with him, and many commented that DeSantis would make an excellent pick for vice president. Some LN readers felt that DeSantis would be great for a GOP ticket as number two because he is attractive to independent voters. That demographic, along with white women, put Glenn Youngkin over the top in Virginia.
The Republican governor from the Sunshine State has publicly announced he has no plans to run for the highest office in the land. As well, there’s no indication that he would be satisfied running as Trump’s sidekick – but that’s what LBJ said back in 1960. Politics can be a strange business, and things can turn on a dime. But if it were left up to the voters in Liberty Nation’s poll, it’s clear they love the idea of a Trump-DeSantis ticket. Perhaps the survey respondent who captured the essence of our Liberty Nation poll best was one person who remarked, “They are both fabulous.”
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.