California love? Golden State poll shows Ron DeSantis competitive with Donald Trump

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DeSantis is within 11 points of Trump in a hypothetical GOP Primary.

Could the Golden State be Golden for a potential Ron DeSantis presidential run in 2024?

While there’s not much likelihood that DeSantis could win California’s electoral votes in a 2024 Presidential General Election, given its status as a blue state, a new poll of California Republicans suggests that DeSantis could give former President Donald Trump a run in a very much still hypothetical 2024 Republican Presidential Preference ballot.

The Cal Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies release describes a dynamic similar in California to many other states. While Trump leads en masse, DeSantis is the clear second choice for Trump voters, and a first choice for a sizable minority of Republicans even when Trump is on the ballot.

“When California Republicans are asked who they currently support for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Trump leads with 38% of the preferences. However, Florida Governor DeSantis is a close second with 27% of the vote, while former Vice President Mike Pence places a distant third at 7%,” the release notes.

“If Trump is removed from the list of possible Republican presidential candidates, DeSantis emerges as the overwhelming favorite, receiving 53% of the state’s GOP voter preferences,” the release continues.

No other candidate in a Trump-free field gets even 10%. Former Vice President Pence pulled 9%, five points above a host of hopefuls who apparently have no hope at all with California Republicans.

DeSantis has made key hires from California, including Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and former Press Secretary Christina Pushaw, who has since moved over to the re-election campaign in a rapid response role.

He and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have played up a feud, meanwhile, a sort of cartoonish Red State versus Blue State dynamic that clearly has been to their mutual political benefit. The same Cal Berkeley survey that shows DeSantis surging against Trump shows Newsom atop a diffuse Presidential field on the Democratic side in 2024.

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