Among registered Republican voters, about 45% said they would vote for Trump compared to 36% who leaned toward DeSantis, according to the most recent YouGov/Yahoo News poll, a 9-point difference and the closest any challenger has ever gotten to the former president in a GOP primary poll. The most recent numbers tighten previous polls that showed DeSantis trailing by 16 points in February and 23 points the month before that.
The survey was conducted between June 24 and 27, before former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson offered bombshell testimony that sought to paint a picture of how the former president reacted to news of a violent protest outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Most voters (52%) had already agreed Trump should be prosecuted for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election, but that number is expected to increase after the Jan. 6 committee’s Tuesday hearing.
During the hearing, Hutchinson said she heard from another Trump aide, Tony Ornato, that Trump became agitated when he was told during the drive back to the White House from his Jan. 6 rally that going to the Capitol was not an option. Among the claims Hutchinson relayed was that Trump grabbed the steering wheel of the vehicle and lunged at the head of his security detail.
Trump later reacted on Truth Social, calling it a “fake story,” and there have been reports that people involved in the story about the chaotic drive on Jan. 6 are prepared to push back on it.
Neither Trump nor DeSantis has announced whether they will run a presidential campaign in 2024, but both are favored among the Republican Party.