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AZ GOP: Two-Way Race between DeSantis and Trump in a 2024 Primary

Over Half of Arizona Republicans would be Satisfied with Either as the GOP Presidential Nominee

PHOENIX (February 28, 2023)- Arizona is undoubtedly a major battleground when it comes to elections, but the red portion of its purple mixture is becoming increasingly interesting. O.H. Predictive Insights (OHPI) latest Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) took a first look at the state of the GOP in Arizona as the months tick down to a 2024 Republican primary.

This AZPOP, conducted from January 31 – February 9, 2023, surveyed 1,000 registered voters in Arizona and had a margin of error of ± 3.1%. The sample included 350 registered Republicans, for which the MoE was ± 5.24%.


Donald Trump (42%) is running nearly 20 points ahead of his nearest Republican competition (DeSantis, 26%) in a 2024 GOP primary. No other potential candidate has double-digit support.


“Just as we saw in our recent Utah poll, Trump and DeSantis are currently the clear top dogs for the 2024 presidential bid,” said Mike Noble, OHPI Chief of Research. “Any other contender hoping to battle for the GOP nomination will need to make a big splash with Republicans soon, before campaign dollars start to come into effect.”

The poll asked Arizona Republicans how satisfied they would be with a series of potential candidates if they were to be the GOP nominee in the 2024 primary. Alongside Trump and DeSantis, Republican voters would be satisfied if Ted Cruz or Nikki Haley were the GOP nominee in 2024. Large shares of GOP voters would leave the primary disappointed if Liz Cheney (53%), Chris Christie (45%), Mike Pence (44%), or Kayne West (69%) were the nominee.


Arguably the two most well-known Republicans in Arizona on seemingly polar ends of the GOP spectrum are dividing the state party. When asked individually, about half of Republicans think that there is room for Donald Trump (53%) and Doug Ducey (48%) in the party while nearly one-third (Trump 30%, Ducey 28%) say there is no room for each. However, when asked who, between the two, they would rather future Republicans think and behave like, nearly 20% more Republicans prefer future politicians think and behave like Trump (48%) than Ducey (30%).

“Ron DeSantis appears to be a suitable bridge between the Trump and non-Trump wings of the GOP,” said Mike Noble. 6 in 10 Republican voters who say there is room for Trump in today’s GOP would be satisfied if DeSantis were the nominee, alongside 54% of Republican voters who do not want Trump in the party. Only 10% of Room-for-Trump-Republicans would be dissatisfied with DeSantis as the nominee, along with 24% of No-Room-for-Trump-Republicans.


Competition is much fiercer among those who do not think there is room for Trump in today’s GOP. Along with Donald Trump, No-Room-for-Trump-Republicans would not be satisfied with any listed potential GOP nominee, except DeSantis (54%), Pence (41%), or Haley (34%). Room-for-Trump-Republicans would be most satisfied with Trump, DeSantis, Cruz, or Rubio.

Looking back at a single selection for the 2024 GOP nominee, 72% of Room-for-Trump-Republicans (and only 1% of No-Room-for-Trump-Republicans) back Trump in a hypothetical Primary. Abou two in ten (17%) back DeSantis, and only 3% are for Cruz. DeSantis leads among No-Room-for-Trump-Republicans with 35%. Less than 2 in 10 back Pence (16%), Cheney (15%), and Haley (12%). Among GOP voters who are unsure if there is room for Trump, DeSantis leads with 40% followed by Trump with 20% and Pence with 18%.

“Trump’s hold over the GOP electorate is firm, and when it comes down to it, Arizona Republicans see DeSantis as a viable alternative,” said Noble. “DeSantis is a suitable bridge between the two ends of the party, although as long as Trump is in the mix, it’s still a tough hill for DeSantis to climb.”

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Methodology: This poll was conducted as an online opt-in panel survey. The survey was completed by O.H. Predictive Insights from January 31st, 2023 – February 9th, 2023 from an Arizona Statewide Registered Voter sample. The sample demographics were weighted to accurately reflect gender, region, age, party affiliation, ethnicity, and education. The sample size was 1,000 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 3.1%. Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.

Media Contacts:

Veronica Sutliff, OH Predictive Insights, v.sutliff@ohpredictive.com, (602) 390-5248


About OH Predictive Insights: As a nonpartisan public opinion polling, market research, and data analytics firm, OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics, and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike looking to improve their footing with key stakeholders and consumers. For more information, please call (602) 362-5694 or submit a request online at OHPredictive.com.

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