Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lead an early — and still incomplete — Republican presidential field, according to a new national Monmouth University poll released Thursday.
Asked whom they’d like to see as the GOP’s presidential nominee, 33% of Republican voters answered Trump and another 33% picked DeSantis. Another 2% replied with former Vice President Mike Pence, and no other Republican received more than 1% of responses.
Overall, 24% of Republicans said they didn’t know their choice. (Note: Poll respondents were asked to name their choice off the top of their heads; they were not read a list.)
Asked about a hypothetical two-way race between Trump and DeSantis, 53% picked the Florida governor, while 40% sided with the former president.
But the contest is closer among respondents who identify as strong Republicans (DeSantis 49%, Trump 46%) and among evangelical Republicans (DeSantis 51%, Trump 44%).
(Caveat: The GOP presidential race is waged state by state, and will likely include candidates beyond these two frontrunners.)
And the Monmouth poll tested the favorable/unfavorable ratings for GOP presidential candidates and for other Republicans.
The top net favorable/unfavorable scores in the survey were DeSantis’ (80% favorable, 6% unfavorable), Ted Cruz’s (73%-13%), Trump’s (74%-18%) and Nikki Haley’s (47%-11%).
Haley, the former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador during Trump’s presidency, is expected to launch her presidential bid next week.
The worst favorable/unfavorable ratings among Republican voters were for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (23%-53%) and embattled freshman Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., (12%-42%).
The Monmouth University poll was conducted Jan. 26 to Feb. 2 of 566 registered Republican voters, and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 6.1 percentage points.