Mar 29, 2023 - News

Poll: Nearly half of Utah's GOP county chairs favor DeSantis

Photo illustration of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with lines radiating from him.

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nearly half of Utah's GOP county chairs would consider supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 Republican Party presidential primary, per a Deseret News poll released this week.

Driving the news: Deseret News contacted the state's 29 GOP county chairs to participate in an anonymous survey, asking which current and potential presidential candidates they would support in 2024. County chairs were given the option to select more than one person.

  • Of the 22 who responded, 15 said they would support DeSantis, 10 backed former President Trump and four others responded with former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
  • All Utah GOP county chairs surveyed said they voted for Trump in 2020. Most GOP leaders who said they would consider supporting Trump in 2024 added they would like to see another candidate run.
  • Of note: The other seven county chairs did not respond to the Deseret News survey.

What they're saying: "I loved a lot of things Trump did, but shoot, our country’s gonna end up in flames if he’s reelected," one county chair told Deseret News.

  • "DeSantis has come up as an equally important candidate," another county chair said.

Why it matters: The survey respondents are influential political leaders who work on the ground in their communities to help candidates fundraise and garner support for their campaigns.

The big picture: The survey is an early glimpse into Trump's waning loyalty among Utah Republicans, while DeSantis has emerged as a favorable contender to become the 2024 GOP presidential nominee.

  • A coalition of Utah elected officials urged DeSantis in a letter last year to launch an exploratory committee to consider running for president in 2024 after several Trump-endorsed candidates lost in the midterms.

What to watch: The Utah Republican Party announced this week that DeSantis would be the keynote speaker for their organizing convention at Utah Valley University on April 22.


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