A recently released Turning Point USA straw poll found that Governor Gavin Newsom is believed to be the hardest Democratic candidate for a Republican to beat in 2024 receiving nearly 7 times the number of votes that President Joe Biden received.
The poll, taken during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa this weekend attended by thousands of Republicans and conservatives, asked respondents questions concerning the 2024 election, including the hardest candidate for a Republican to beat, as well as who attendees would likely vote for.
Following Newson, whom 30.3% of attendees said would be hardest to beat, former first lady Michelle Obama came in second place with 13.6%, followed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 10.5%, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at 10.3%, Vice President Kamala Harris at 7.9%, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) at 5.9%, President Joe Biden at 4.4%, and Secretary of Transport Pete Buttigieg at 3.8%. Many others, such as former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, came in with 1% or less.
For Republicans, a whopping 78.7% of attendees said they would vote for former President Donald Trump if he ran again, with 19% voting for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and 1% in favor of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. Others, such as former Vice President Mike Pence, came under 1%.
Both Newsom and Trump have been making moves in recent weeks suggesting that they may run in 2024. Governor Newsom specifically has been making more national appearances touting his record as Governor, as well as putting out ads attacking Republican policies in key states such as Florida and Texas. Former President Trump, meanwhile, has also been holding rallies, giving more speeches and releases statements hinting at a run, including giving a speech at the Turning Point Summit during the weekend.
“If I stayed home, if I announced that I was not going to run for office, the persecution of Donald Trump would immediately stop. But that’s what they want me to do. And you know what? There’s no chance I do that,” said Trump on Saturday.
Biden, meanwhile, says he still plans to run for reelection in 2024, making a Biden-Newsom Democratic primary showdown or a Biden-Trump rematch also likely.
Trump heavily favored in 2024 by GOP respondents
Elections experts noted on Tuesday that the Turning Point Poll, while almost exclusively having GOP respondents, does say a lot where things are right now.
“It’s a somewhat skewed poll, but considering that it’s respondents are conservatives, and young conservatives at that, it does tell us a lot that other polls don’t really focus on very often,” explained Laura Chaffee, an elections analyst in Washington, DC, to the Globe on Tuesday. “We’re seeing what the future of the party is seeing.
“The fact that Biden isn’t nearly as big as a threat compared to the much younger Newsom is saying a lot. Some polls show Newsom is getting more popular amongst Democrats for a run in either 2024 or 2028. Democrats are a lot more unsure. Older Democrats prefer Biden or Clinton or someone more their age. They don’t want to let go of the party just yet. And look who Republicans are seeing. Newsom. AOC. Harris. Buttigieg. They already know where the next attack is coming from.”
“Meanwhile Trump is getting back on his feet so to speak. A lot of people want him to do a Grover Cleveland, set up the next four years, then have it open for DeSantis or someone. A lot of moderate Republicans would rather have someone else give it a go, as well as some of the base. They feel someone younger could really bring home the question of Biden’s age and health, and if a woman like Noem or a person of color gets selected as the nominee, it could be a historic first that Democrats would be reeling from for years.”
“But, as the poll shows, young people in the base still want Trump. Two impeachment attempts and the January 6th trial have not wavered many. It’s still too early to know for sure where things will be a year from now when running in 2024 gets serious. I mean, we haven’t even had midterms yet. But we are seeing that conservatives know where the threats are and seem to have a much better awareness of what they need to win in 2024.”