GOP voters still like Trump, but many ambivalent about a 2024 run

And, much to Trump’s chagrin, no one has better exploited the opportunity to be seen as a “Trump alternative” in 2024 than GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis. While Trump has been sidelined, the Florida Governor has been busy building up a national fundraising base, a political portfolio and national profile. My colleague, David Wasserman wrote about a conversation he had with a GOP strategist whose organization is privately poll-testing Trump against DeSantis in an imaginary 2024 presidential primary. The group, Wasserman writes, has found Trump’s lead over the GOP Governor varies from 25 points in the Deep South to single digits in the Midwest, with a tie among GOP voters familiar with both…

Another “underrated 2024 scenario,” wrote GOP pollster Patrick Ruffini in a Tweet the other day, is that “Trump runs and one big name from the list decides to challenge him. They don’t win,” Ruffini goes onto to write, “but in coming close they become the undisputed frontrunner for 2028, a la Reagan ’76, Bush ’80, McCain ’00, Romney ’08, Hillary ’08, etc. It’s high-risk, high-reward, in that they could fall flat on their face. But probably carries a higher probability of success than taking their chances on a 16-candidate free-for-all.” In other words, while Trump still looks hard to beat, it may be a cleaner path to the GOP nomination than waiting — along with every other ambitious Republican — for a Trump-less primary in 2028.