CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The majority of likely voters in North Carolina want to say goodbye to Former President Donald Trump and hello to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. This is all according to a new statewide poll for a still-hypothetical race for the Presidency in 2024.

The new poll, conducted by Differentiators Data, asked 500 likely North Carolina voters: “If the republican presidential primary was being held today, who would you vote for?” 34.5% of respondents said Trump and 56.3% said DeSantis. 9% of the likely voters said they were undecided.

Eric Heberlig, UNC Charlotte Political Science Professor, said North Carolina’s results were similar to polls he’s seen throughout the rest of the country.

“But it’s somewhat of a surprise given the intense support that republicans have had for Donald Trump over the past eight years,” Heberlig said.

Trump announced he’s seeking the republican nomination for Presidency in November, but DeSantis hasn’t made any formal announcements yet. One of the questions in the poll asked voters: “do you support Trump or the traditional republican party”, and the results were about tied, with 43% each. Yet if you look at the likely voter’s candidate’s support, Trump is only getting about 34%.

“So that, I think, is the strongest evidence of Trump’s weakness here, that if you claim you’re more of a supporter of Trump than the party, yet you’re still not willing to vote for Trump with DeSantis as an alternative. So that saying even Trump’s strongest supporters aren’t all with him yet,” Heberlig said.

Heberlig thinks that polls like this highlighting Trump’s weakness might open up the playing field for more republican candidates to throw their hats into the ring.