GOP Voters Favor DeSantis

Poll of Californians has Trump trailing for 2024 nod

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has surged to a lead among California Republicans over former President Trump for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination, a poll released Friday found.

About 37% of GOP voters backed DeSantis, while 29% preferred Trump, according to the new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. These numbers are a near mirror image of the support for the two in an August poll conducted by Berkeley.

Other hopefuls trailed far behind, with none receiving more than 7% in the poll.

California matters to Republican presidential contenders despite its overall Democratic majority. Nearly 2.3 million voters cast ballots for Trump in California’s March 2020 primary, the most in any state in the nation.

DeSantis has taken a particularly strong lead among Republican voters with a college degree, who back him by more than 2 to 1 over Trump. The former president has the support of Republicans who did not attend college, and the two run close to even among those who have some college experience but not a four-year degree.

Among California Republicans who voted for Trump in 2020, DeSantis leads by 11 percentage points in the new poll; he trailed Trump by 14 points among such voters six months ago.

“There is serious defection among his ranks,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the IGS poll. “These voters are now on board with DeSantis more than Trump. That’s fairly significant.”

The poll results come just over a week before DeSantis is scheduled to visit Southern California, with speeches in Orange County and at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, spots where he will meet with well-heeled Republican donors and party leaders.

The survey also illuminated Californians’ complicated views about President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in a state where fellow Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2 to 1 among registered voters.

Although Biden’s approval ratings improved in recent months, with 57% of the state’s voters now praising his job performance, the same share of voters don’t want the 80-year-old to run for reelection next year.

Even with Harris’ California roots, nearly 6 in 10 of those surveyed were not enthusiastic about her running for the White House if Biden decides to not seek another term. She grew up in the Bay Area and served as San Francisco’s district attorney, the state’s attorney general and California’s U.S. senator.

“Usually, it’s the case that people in your own area are most positive about you, and people outside of your area learn more about you and eventually get on board. That hasn’t been the case for Kamala,” DiCamillo said. “In fact, looking at … the enthusiasm [voters have for her running] for president, in the Bay Area, it’s less than it is in Los Angeles. That’s telling to me. She’s never had a real strong base of support in the Bay Area, and it’s true the entire two-year period of following her as vice president.”

Regardless of those qualms, barring an unprecedented political shift, California’s 54 electoral votes will easily wind up in Democrats’ column in the November 2024 presidential election. Biden leads DeSantis by 23 points among the state’s voters in a hypothetical match-up and beats Trump by 30 points, according to the poll. In 2020, Biden bested Trump by 29% in California.

The state’s presidential primary, which will occur in March next year, could be pivotal in deciding the Republican nomination. California will once again have the largest delegation at the 2024 Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where the party will officially select its nominee.

In addition, the state is home to an enormous group of wealthy donors. In 2020, Trump and his supporting groups received more than $92 million from California donors, making the state the third-largest home of his financial backers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The numbers are significant undercounts because they do not include contributions to political action committees or individual donations under $200.

This is one major reason why prominent Republicans, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley are among the White House hopefuls who have visited the state since the last presidential election.

Haley recently announced a 2024 presidential bid; Pence, Pompeo and others are believed to be eyeing a bid.

Along with Trump and DeSantis, Pence, Pompeo and Haley were among the 11 Republicans included in the potential presidential field in the Berkeley IGS poll.

DeSantis is scheduled to speak at the Reagan Library as well as at a fundraiser for the Orange County GOP on March 5. Although it’s unclear whether he is raising money for committees supporting his electoral efforts, DeSantis will meet and mingle with major GOP donors at the events, which are taking place in citadels of wealthy and well-connected conservatives, according to sources familiar with his plans.

The polling shows why such regions may be essential to the DeSantis campaign if he runs. Republican voters who are more educated and wealthier are far more likely to support the Florida governor over Trump.

GOP college graduates backed DeSantis over Trump, 39% to 21%, in the poll, while Republicans with a postgraduate education preferred DeSantis over Trump by nearly 3 to 1. By contrast, Republican voters with no more than a high school education preferred Trump over DeSantis, 45% to 30%.

There were similar disparities among voters with different incomes, with GOP voters in wealthier California households being far more likely to support DeSantis than Trump.

White voters without a college education have long been Trump’s strongest supporters, and his weakness among college-educated voters, which emerged during the 2016 election, helped Democrats win in former conservative bastions such as Orange County that year — the first time the county supported a Democrat for president since the Great Depression. That dynamic was evident in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential contest.

The poll indicates that the college divide is splitting Republican ranks, echoing other surveys that have shown that division nationally.

That could benefit DeSantis in states such as California, in which college graduates make up a large share of the electorate. But it could boost Trump elsewhere in the nation, including parts of the South and the Midwest, where non-college-educated voters dominated GOP primaries.

Voters who stopped their education after high school or didn’t receive their high school degree account for 18% of the Republican electorate in California but made up just over 1 in 3 GOP voters nationwide in 2020, according to the Pew Research Center.

DiCamillo said GOP voters who have a high school degree or didn’t complete it have remained consistent in their support for Trump, which makes sense because they were the foundation of his base.

“But the other segments are moving,” he said. “That’s the vulnerability Trump has this time around … at least in California.”

Click here to read the full article at LA Times


  1. All candidates are ambassadors for the Republican Party. They can all reach a niche. The voters will sort out who will be the nominee.

  2. They didn’t talk to me…rigged elections have consequences.

  3. Too soon to care

  4. The uniparty (dem/rino party), like McConnel Ryan Cheney, Romney and his niece and the rest of the incestuous politicians in the UNIPARTY, have been pushing and propping DiSantis only to get Trump out of the way. If they do, they will destroy DiSantis after that and install their globalist, or make DiSantis submit.
    Donald J Trump is the ONLY answer NO ONE ELSE WILL FIX THE PROBLEM . He alone will address the PEOPLES concerns, he alone is feared by the criminals in DC, He alone will Help The People and Country.

    • And that’s from California, and this tactic of throwing all this cow defication all over social media until people accept the lie as truth

    • And that’s from California, and this tactic of throwing all this cow defecation all over social media until people accept the lie as truth
      SAD THAT DiSantis is allowing it to continue.

  5. TRUMP.

  6. DeSantis is a Freemason RINO
    Why only stop grooming of children up to 3rd grade? Why not ban it from schools all together?
    (Is that his age preference? 4th grade and up??)
    Why after 108 arrests for child porn/trafficking is Disney STILL open and ONLY being made to pay “taxes”.
    (Does he want a cut of that trafficking money)
    Why is he gonna be one of the FIRST states to allow Gates to release GMO mosquitos?
    Why are NWO digital machines going up in Fla?
    Why did he approve the death jab for kids 6 months to 5 yrs?
    Why did he stay silent on international human trafficking after he or his office signed off on evidence sent to them?
    Com’on people…OPEN UR EYES! AND FOR god sakes ur ears. Y’all heard stop grooming kids up to third grade and never ONCE questioned why only 3rd grade? U made him a hero instead of THINKING!

    • Well said Everett !!!!

    • Totally agree, and there is much much more to be said against DeSantis.
      But more than that, Americans need to wake up. We are so lazy and passive.
      Look around. You are being lied to, your money made worthless, your culture being destroyed, stolen elections that are blatant, wide wide open borders to bring drugs and crime and chaos.
      And we sit and talk about it all day.

      We are in a WAR, yes, we are. And if Stephen Frank does not want to report on it, someone must.

      There is still no discussion on this newsletter about NEWCALIFORNIASTATE.COM

      The war is truly for the heart and soul of this country and to destroy it.

    • Yes, you are so correct…if we wanted a RINO we would vote for Paul Ryan too. I am a California Conservative, no one asked me 🤷🏻‍♀️

  7. TRUMP.

  8. There are waaaay too many problems with Ron DeSantis, starting with the people who support him. Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and a lot of Never Trumpers are very enthusiastic about DeSantis. I am not.

    Yes, DeSantis has done some really good things in Florida, but it’s so easy for him because all the leadership and legislature are Republicans. No one is pushing back in a way that would mean something so DeSantis gets applause wherever he goes.

    DeSantis is leading Florida via Republicans the way Newsom is leading California via Democrats. Both governors have little to no push back from the opposing party.

    As to who has declared and who will declare, ALL OF THEM HAVE ISSUES! And that includes Donald Trump. But I will stand by Donald Trump. Does it even matter since Democrats will be stealing the 2024 election just as they stole the 2022 and 2020 and the Never Trumper/RINOs (who support DeSantis) haven’t done anything to stop election theft.

    IMO, we are losing our country because of RINOs, not because of Democrats. This is why I re-registered as NPP.

    • Eleanor:
      Registering as NPP is not going to help.

      Trump is the only viable candidate and he is really still our President and we know who he is and what he can do.

      You are right. I do not see this country even making it to 2024 without a real turnaround of some kind.
      We are at WAR with the CCP and they are managing to destroy this country in every way.

      War calls for more than switching party registrations and hoping and wishing. I am afraid it is time for much more from Patriots than to sit and watch our country be stolen with our own tax money no less.

  9. Check out DeSantis and Paul Ryans plan to voucher medicare and social security. I was for him until I discovered that.

    TRUMP! The only one with big enough balls to turn this mess around like it or not!

  10. You’re polling the wrong people. If DeSantis is as good as he could be, he is far better off at this point in being a strong Republican governor as a model for other states. The country is in such a mess that Trump is probably the only one who won’t pussyfoot around while cleaning up the mess. DeSantis is young. If he is indeed what we hope he can be, then 2028 is time enough. If Trump gets “trumped” by DeSantis in 2024, then you’ll see a juggernaut of opposition emerge ib all sides to defeat him handily. We have a lot of uniparty RINOs In high places. I’d run like crazy from anyone they support, starting with McConnell and Ryan. There are also a lot of patriots who are fed up with the money-wasting and ineffective establishment GOP in California (and elsewhere).

  11. And by the way, I have a college degree and have re-registered as NPP.

  12. Dennis Drent says

    As much as I loved Trump’s policies and his war on the deep state, his post-2020 election antics have disqualified him from leading again. We need a fresh leader with no self-induced baggage. Comments like “we don’t like DeSantis because the RINOs like him” are childish. It’s like saying I can’t like ice cream because Biden likes it. The Republican Party has always had different factions with strong disagreements (i.e. neocons, paleocons, libertarians, Trumpers, etc.). However, the war with the left must be won, and will take a united Republican Party to win. Trump is a divider and 2018, 2020, and 2022 have proven he’s no longer a winner. This takes vision. We need a Reagan-like figure to win a 40-state mandate and lead all Republicans in a united effort to dismantle the progressive push to tear down our republic. This will likely be a strong governor – not tied to Trump – like Chris Sununu, Ron DeSantis, or Kristi Noem,



    That is the new challenge since old Main Stream Media is failing quite badly. But many have not gotten the scoop yet that Fox has turned to the dark side.

    There needs to be campaigns and commercials that make this clear to all.

  14. Dennis – Why do you and others keep saying that Trump lost 2018, 2020 and 2022 when those elections were stolen? By ignoring the stolen elections, you are playing into Democrat hands.

    • Dennis P Drent says

      There is no doubt election fraud exists. The Heritage Foundation tracks known voter fraud cases but has never come up with any fraud on a scale enough to overturn a presidential election. After the 2020 election, numerous federal and state voter fraud investigations were performed in PA, GA, and NY and no material fraud was found. Even Giuliana’s lawsuits were thrown out as it was discovered things he was saying on Fox News were not based on facts. In my opinion, Trump lost the 2020 election because he spent too much time seeking adulation from his base and not focusing on the moderate and independent voters in the suburbs, They were the difference between 2016 and 2020. He won them in 2016 and lost them in 2020. He lost them because he wouldn’t tone down the divisive and petulant behavior. They simply voted against his personality instead of for Joe Biden.

      2018 was to be expected. An incumbent president typically loses seats in Congress mid-term. However, we need to ask why this didn’t happen (to the extent expected) to the very unpopular Biden in 2022. The Dems did a masterful job of putting Trump on the ballet through their use of “democracy is on the ballot.” Trump opened the door for this argument through his refusal to accept the 2020 election results – especially after the J6 riots. It can be no accident that candidates that were supported by Trump in the primaries for supporting his “election was stolen” narrative lost while others who distanced themselves from Trump won. Winners: Chris Sununu, Ron DeSantis, Mike Dewine, Brian Kemp. Losers: Herschel Walker, Dr. Oz, Adam Laxalt, Kari Lake. Nobody except Trump’s most loyal followers wants to relitigate 2020 ad infinitum. If Trump won’t move on – and it doesn’t look like he is – the country needs to move on. I’m sure you won’t agree with me but I’ve tried to support my opinion with facts.

  15. These polls have a far left flavor. Trump remains the number one Boogieman for the far left for a reason. He continues to defeat over 6 years of relentless, dirty character assassination attempts by a cabal that excels at only that.
    DeSantis may make a good president…. but he has not run the primary gauntlet yet. Stand by for the inevitable blitz of manufactured Russian collusion like fabrications from the Swamp.
    Democrat dirty politics will prevail again if Americans allow them to use our shameful proclivity for salacious rhetoric. “Believe what they do, not what they say”.
    We must support this flamboyant conservative radical gunslinger again. Only Trump has a proven record of accomplishments capable of stopping this cancerous Marxist take over.
    Anything less will be our undoing as the best hope for a free world.

  16. I agree with the sentiment that Ron DeSantis is doing well in his current largely Republican, evangelical-leaning environment. How he does in the real world, where he will have to deal with the strong contingent of non-aligned and of left-leaning populations, remains to be seen. In 2016 Trump was credible as the outsider, without allegiance to the status quo, who could lift some of the suffocating weight of big government. Whether that credibility could survive a Democrat onslaught and a government by tweets should be a matter for debate. As a personal aside I would choose Trump over DeSantis — better chaos than sanctimoniousness.

  17. DeSantis is needed in Florida. He should stay there.

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