Former President Trump trails Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) in a new Utah poll of possible GOP contenders for the 2024 presidential race.
A Deseret News-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll of Utah voters found DeSantis with a decisive lead in a hypothetical Republican presidential primary, at 24.2 percent, followed by Cheney with 16.4 percent.
Trump came in third place with 14.6 percent, nearly 2 points below Cheney and nearly 10 points behind the Florida governor — the latest indication that the former president’s popularity may be slipping.
However, more Utah voters said they didn’t know which candidate they’d cast their ballot for (20.7 percent) than backed either Trump or Cheney.
Cheney lost her House reelection bid during this year’s midterms to a Trump-backed challenger after she drew the former president’s ire for her efforts to impeach and investigate him for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.
Trump was more popular than Cheney among self-identified Republicans, earning 21.1 percent to Cheney’s 10 percent, but DeSantis still emerged ahead in that group with 33.1 percent.
The Florida governor has long been seen as a top potential challenger to Trump for the GOP nomination, and saw his stock rise further after a blowout reelection win last month.
Some recent polls have shown DeSantis closing the national gap with Trump, and online betting markets are also now favoring DeSantis over Trump to take the 2024 White House — though the Florida governor still says he is focused on his current job.
The GOP saw disappointing midterm results in November, failing to take control of the Senate and winning the House by a smaller-than-expected margin. A number of Trump’s hand-picked candidates lost out in key races.
In a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released at the end of last month, 20 percent of voters said the former president was the biggest loser of the midterm elections, and 14 percent said Trump’s “MAGA” Republicans lost the most.
“While in certain ways yesterday’s election was somewhat disappointing, from my personal standpoint it was a very big victory,” Trump said of the results.
Conducted Nov. 18-23, the Desert News-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates and surveyed 802 registered Utah voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.