Donald Trump leads DeSantis in Fox News’ first 2024 poll: Fox News’ relationship with the right, and with former President Donald Trump, remains somewhat fraught. But the network remains important to the prospects of both, and it’s just released its first presidential poll of the 2024 cycle.
Is Donald Trump Winning?
Over the weekend, Fox News released its first poll of the 2024 presidential race.
In the poll, Republican primary voters were read a list of possible candidates in the race and asked about their preferences.
Former President Donald Trump led with 43 percent and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was second with 28 percent, with all other listed potential candidates in single digits.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was third with 7 percent, with former Vice President Mike Pence in fourth, also with 7 percent. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was 5th with 2 percent, while former Rep. Liz Cheney was in 6th with 2 percent.
When those who picked Donald Trump were asked their second choice, 42 percent answered DeSantis, 23 percent said Pence, and 6 percent chose Haley. Among DeSantis backers, Trump leads the poll with 34 percent, Haley was second with 27 percent, and Pence third 10 percent. Abbott and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) each drew 6 percent from such voters.
Of those listed, only Donald Trump and Haley are declared candidates.
Why He Is Winning
Trump has a lead among most key demographics, including “men, women, those under and over age 45, and those without a college degree,” the Fox News story said. DeSantis leads among voters with a college degree, as well as those who believe that President Biden was “legitimately elected.”
The survey is conducted by pollsters Chris Anderson, a Democrat, and Daron Shaw, a Republican.
“Currently, the GOP primary dynamics are simple,” Shaw said, per Fox News. “DeSantis needs Trump to falter because most of the former president’s supporters see the Florida governor as the second-best choice. At the same time, other candidates need DeSantis to falter because his supporters have no single fallback option and would be up-for-grabs should he flame out.”
Democratic voters were also asked their preference, and when asked if they wish to keep President Biden or “see someone else,” 53 percent answered the latter and 37 percent the former.
“They like him and the job he’s doing, even if they might wish for an alternative in 2024,” Anderson, the Democratic pollster, said of the president.
Nikki Haley Creates Drama
When asked about the proposal, introduced by Haley at her launch event, that politicians over age 75 be required to take mental competency tests, 77 percent of voters said they support them and 20 percent oppose them.
The proposal was seen by some as a shot at Biden, and by others as a shot at Trump, as both men are over 75.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), in an appearance last week on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” called Haley’s proposal “absurd.”
“We are fighting racism, we’re fighting sexism, we’re fighting homophobia — I think we should also be fighting ageism,” the 81-year-old Sanders said on the show.
“There are a lot of 40-year-olds out there who ain’t particularly competent,” he added. “Older people, you know, you look at the individual. I don’t think you make a blanket statement.”
In a separate appearance on Stephen Colbert’s CBS show, Sanders called the proposal “nothing more than old-fashioned ageism” and “not acceptable.”
Haley responded by stating that Sanders is “exactly the reason we need it.”
Perhaps more concerning for Haley, per Politico, is that some older voters appeared troubled by insulted by her proposal.
“I do like Nikki’s platform, her plank regarding term limits. I think that’s important,” New Hampshire voter Richard Ploss told Politico. But he went on to denounce the competency test as “a little over the top.”
“I just feel like the competency test was a gimmick to get attention and one that ultimately could backfire because arguably, the largest voting bloc in the Republican primary is older voters,” New Hampshire-based Republican strategist Mike Dennehy told Politico of the idea. “New Hampshire’s population has been aging over the last decade. There are more and more older people coming to New Hampshire to retire.”
Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.