Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a 14-point lead over former President Donald Trump among Republican primary voters, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.
He holds a 52%-38% edge over Trump, WSJ reported Wednesday.
A total of 86% of Republican voters said they held a favorable view of DeSantis, while 74% said the same about Trump.
One in 10 likely GOP primary voters said they didn't know enough about DeSantis to offer an opinion.
Trump still has an advantage (54%-38%) among voters who say they're very conservative, the WSJ poll found.
DeSantis has a 59%-29% edge with those who consider themselves somewhat conservative, and an overwhelmingly cushion with more moderate Republicans, "although they are not the ones who tend to dominate the primary process," WSJ noted.
Trump beats DeSantis among GOP voters with a high school education or less, while DeSantis fares better among voters who are college educated. DeSantis also does better among suburban and urban Republican voters. Trump and DeSantis are tied in rural areas, WSJ reported.
There's a margin of error of 6 percentage points among likely Republican primary voters.
Among all registered voters, DeSantis (43%) maintained a higher favorability rating than Trump (36%) — the lowest recorded by WSJ for the former president dating to November 2021.
WSJ reported that since March, Trump's favorable rating among GOP voters has fallen to 74% from 85%, while the his unfavorably rating has risen to 23% from 13%.
Trump, 76, officially kicked off his 2024 campaign last month. DeSantis, who easily won a second term in this year's midterms, has not indicated if he plans to enter the race.
WSJ reported that the governor's aides have said DeSantis, 44, isn't likely to announce a presidential campaign until after Florida's legislative session ends in May.
"It is going to be a competitive primary," said Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, who works for a pro-Trump super PAC and conducted the Journal survey with Democrat pollster John Anzalone. "The two favorites right now would be Trump and DeSantis."
The WSJ survey found that former Vice President Mike Pence has a favorable rating of 48% among GOP voters, and trails Trump 63%-28% in a hypothetical a head-to-head matchup.
In a hypothetical 2024 general election rematch, President Joe Biden leads Trump 45% to 43%, with 12% undecided. That's within the poll's margin of error and essentially remains unchanged from October, when the two men were tied.
Biden's job approval also is unchanged from October, with 42% approving and 56% disapproving.
The WSJ poll was conducted Dec. 3-7 among 1,500 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.
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