KEY POINTS

  • Trump said he would “beat” DeSantis in a potential 2024 face-off
  • DeSantis has been topping multiple hypothetical polls over the past months
  • DeSantis’ critics said his fundraising efforts may be evidence of his growing political ambitions

Former President Donald Trump said he will “beat” Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., if they meet as presidential candidates in 2024, but some recent surveys have given the latter high marks, raising the stakes in a possible 2024 match against DeSantis.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance Live due to be released Monday, Trump said he was confident if he ran for president in three years. Trump said he would “beat him like I would beat everyone else.”

However, Trump did say he doesn’t think DeSantis would be a rival during the 2024 elections. “I think he would drop out,” the former president said of the Florida governor.

Trump’s comments about DeSantis dropping out and getting defeated in a presidential face-off came months after the governor topped a July poll wherein respondents were asked who they would vote for in the Republican primary if it was held that day. At least 68 percent of the respondents chose DeSantis in a line-up that did not include Trump.

In a separate line-up that included the former president, DeSantis came in second with 21 percent, while Trump topped the survey with 70 percent. The straw poll was carried out at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) earlier in July.

The following month, a survey conducted at the Western Conservative Summit saw DeSantis grabbing 74.12 percent of attendees’ votes who were asked if they would approve of the Florida governor for president in 2024 compared to Trump’s 71.43 percent. Of the total votes, DeSantis took 275 votes, while Trump received 265 votes.

GOP polling firm Republicans by Echelon Insights also came up with a theoretical primary poll without Trump on the ballot, wherein DeSantis topped former Vice President Mike Pence by 22-15. All other possible contenders in the poll conducted last month, including Donald Trump Jr., garnered single-digit counts.

While polls are making hypothetical line-ups for the 2024 elections that include the Florida governor, DeSantis, known for his ardent support for Trump, previously said talks of his 2024 presidential run were “nonsense.”

“All the speculation about me is purely manufactured,”  he said at a press briefing early last month.

DeSantis is up for re-election in 2022, and while he has insisted that he wasn’t planning a 2024 presidential run, some critics noted that his ongoing national fundraising activities could be proof of his expanding ambitions.

While DeSantis is becoming a popular GOP candidate, Trump’s GOP enemies have increased, possibly including the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him for his role in inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Donald Trump is the only US president since Richard Nixon not to release details of his personal finances Donald Trump is the only US president since Richard Nixon not to release details of his personal finances Photo: AFP / Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS