A straw poll conducted at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference held in Dallas during the weekend found that California Governor Gavin Newsom is far and away the candidate most expected to be the Democratic Party nominee for president in 2024, with other Californians also scoring high.
Within the last month, Governor Newsom has continued to quickly move up 2024 Democratic presidential nominee polls. While President Joe Biden’s age, political mishaps, handling of the economic downturn, and current approval rating well under 40% has hurt him in many recent polls, Newsom has gone up. As one of the few potential presidential nominees who is both on the younger side and has considerable national presence, Newsom has been continuing to burnish his national presence through national speeches, but by engaging ads going after policies in red states such as Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Oklahoma.
With this new exposure, as well pushing many progressive policies in the state, Newsom has led recent polls asking voters who they think the nominee will be in two years. A TPUSA poll in late July found that just over 30% thought that Newsom would be getting the nomination, well ahead of former First Lady Michelle Obama and 2016 Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton, who came in at 13.6% and 10.5% respectively. A few weeks earlier, Newsom polled ahead of other prominent candidates including Vice President Kamala Harris.
In the CPAC poll, Newsom only widened the gap. In response to the question ‘Who do you think will be the Democratic Nominee for President in 2024?’ Newsom led with 37% of the vote. The next closest candidate, Michele Obama, only came at a distant 16%, followed by Biden and Hillary Clinton at an even more distant 3rd place with 8%. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg came in at 5%, and fellow Californian VP Harris at 4%.
Newsom tops Dems at 37%, Trump leads GOP with 69%
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump had showed a more landslide win with 69% of the vote, in a question asking conference attendees who they would vote for in the Republican primary in their state in 2024. Only Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came anywhere close with 24%, and third place finisher Senator Ted Cruz at a small 2%. While a wide margin, Trump has also come down recently in GOP polls last month where he had been scoring in the high 70s, with DeSantis and other like South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem slowly gaining ground.
While many elections experts noted that the poll was widely skewed due to the conference having only conservatives in attendence, they also noted that the poll was very important as it indicated that conservatives have been seeing Newsom more and more as a possible threat in 2024.
“Despite everything Newsom has done, from the affairs to routinely not wearing masks in public despite a mandate from him saying to, many are seeing him as the Democrats best shot in 2024,” explained Laura Chaffee, an elections analyst in Washington, DC, to the Globe on Monday. “With Biden faltering, Clinton and [Vermont Senator Bernie] Sanders being seen as too old, and some like Michele Obama and Buttigieg being seen as too inexperienced, Newsom is one of the few prominent Democrats out there right now who checks a lot of boxes for the Democrats. And for those in the GOP, he is one of the few seen as a real threat as a lot of his recent actions have been making waves not only in California but around the US. The CPAC poll is only the latest showing of that.”
“If these numbers remain high, we may see Newsom give it a serious go against Biden. A lot of Democrats are beginning to compare this to the Republicans in the mid 70’s where Reagan was trying to overcome Ford for the ’76 nomination and very nearly did it. So these polls are important, even if they are one party centric. And right now they are saying quite a lot.”
More polls concerning possible 2024 candidates. including Newsom, are expected soon.
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