Who Might GOP Primary Voters Vote For Next?

Part of the Morning Consult’s newest poll set answers a question, that maybe you weren’t expecting to ask. This poll was performed January 6-8, 2023 among 4,470 Republican primary voters. Voters were asked to choose a second option after selecting a first-choice candidate. The answers varied but there were five main responses for a second-choice, depending on the first-choice voters were picking. 

Trump as a first choice:

For those who picked former President Trump as their first choice for the 2024 GOP primaries, there were four choices voters seemed to gravitate towards when it came to the second choice. 

  • The top-rated second choice was Ron DeSantis, with 44% of the votes. Not a surprise, as he is the most popular potential Trump rival going into the 2024 primary season. 
  • The second-rated second choice is also not that big of a surprise as again this candidate seems to be another assumed 2024 primary choice. Mike Pence took this spot, with 20% of the votes.

DeSantis as a first choice:

The voters who chose Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as their first choice seemed to choose the same people as those who selected Trump as their first choice, just in a different configuration. 

  • Donald Trump was the second choice of 35% of voters who chose DeSantis first. 
  • Mike Pence was the second choice of 15% of voters who chose DeSantis first. 
  • This is slightly odd, as many are choosing DeSantis first to escape Trump – though are still picking Trump second. And shuffled their second choice slightly more than those who chose Trump as their first choice. 

Pence as a first choice:

Those who chose former Vice-President Mike Pence as their first choice for the 2024 primaries chose a different selection of second choices than voters that chose either Trump or DeSantis as their first choice. 

  • 31% of Pence supporters chose DeSantis as their second choice. 
  • While 21% chose Trump.
  • 10% chose Cruz. 
  • And in a change, from the other two – 8% of Pence supporters chose Liz Cheney as their second choice. 


DeSantis is still a popular option, even to those who indicated they would vote for former President Trump first, as he had 44% secondary support. Though for those who chose either Trump or DeSantis, Pence did not do as well as either of the former two men.