Trump would easily beat DeSantis in Republican primary, new Harvard poll shows

Down but not out: Trump would hammer DeSantis if primary poll were held today, Harvard poll claims, with ex-president 20 POINTS ahead of rising star Florida governor

  • A new poll gives Trump a 48 percent share of the GOP vote in the primaries 
  • He beat off nearest challenge Ron DeSantis by a whopping 20 points
  • Polling from late 2022 had showed DeSantis was eating into Trump’s popularity 

Ex-president Donald Trump would easily beat off the challenge of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a Republican primary, a new poll shows. 

The poll, from Harvard CAPS-Harris, and published by The Hill, shows that just under half of GOP voters would favor Trump in the primary. 

The former host of The Apprentice would have 48 percent of the vote, giving him a 20 point advantage over DeSantis, considered by many to be the rising star of the Republican party. 

Trump’s poll numbers have also risen by three per cent in the last month, despite him facing a slew of investigations, and questions as to why the candidates he backed in midterms flopped against their Democrat rivals.  

The also-rans in the poll were Trump’s former VP Mike Pence, who garnered seven percent, while Florida Senator Marco Rubio and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley received just three percent respectively.  

The poll, from Harvard CAPS-Harris, and published by The Hill, shows that just under half of GOP voters would favor Trump in the primary

The poll, from Harvard CAPS-Harris, and published by The Hill, shows that just under half of GOP voters would favor Trump in the primary

Polling from late last year showed that DeSantis was eating into Trump's popularity, that bump appears to have fizzled

Polling from late last year showed that DeSantis was eating into Trump’s popularity, that bump appears to have fizzled 

Speaking to The Hill, the co-director of the poll, Mark Penn, said: ‘Trump has strengthened somewhat but Ron DeSantis continues to strengthen as well. Trump is ahead but already has every vote he can get — DeSantis is the candidate of potential.’

The poll surveyed 2,050 registered voters from across the US between January 18th and 19th. 

The Harvard poll echoed the findings of a Morning Consult poll that was published earlier this week that also gave Trump 48 percent of the vote. That poll surveyed 3,763 potential Republican primary voters.

In that poll, Trump beat out DeSantis by a healthy 17 points. 

These findings come after multiple polls suggested DeSantis could edge out Trump as the Republican favorite – though it’s still much too early to tell. 

As consistent with most similar polls, Trump and DeSantis are the top two runaway favorites at this moment in the election cycle. No other candidate manages to crack 10 percent. 

Though the Florida governor has not explicitly shared interest in running for the White House in 2024, his refusal to rule out a potential primary challenge to Trump has infuriated the former president. 

Late last year, polling showed DeSantis eating into Trump’s popularity in the polls, in the fallout from the twice impeached ex-president’s dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Kanye West and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. 

Former VP Pence came in at third in the polling but still failed to crack double digits

Former VP Pence came in at third in the polling but still failed to crack double digits

Former South Carolina Governor and Trump UN ambassador Nikki Haley has signaled that she may throw her hat in the ring for 2024

Former South Carolina Governor and Trump UN ambassador Nikki Haley has signaled that she may throw her hat in the ring for 2024

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was comfortably defeated by Donald Trump in the 2016 GOP primary

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was comfortably defeated by Donald Trump in the 2016 GOP primary

A poll from earlier this month published by Morning Consult showed similar results to the recent Harvard survey

A poll from earlier this month published by Morning Consult showed similar results to the recent Harvard survey 

A USA Today/Suffolk University poll from the same time period gave Trump a favorability rating among Republican voters at 64 percent, down from 75 percent in October 2022.   

A January CBS News Poll found that a whopping 81 percent of Republican voters wanted to vote for candidates who were in a similar mold to Trump. 

While 35 percent said that it was ‘very important’ that their representatives locally and in Washington align with the former president. 

A combined 65 percent of respondents say loyalty to Trump is either very or somewhat important, while only 14 percent said it ‘wasn’t important at all’ and 21 percent said it was ‘not too important’ to them.

The results are similar to the same survey taken last year, and it exhibits very little reassessment on the part of the Republican Party and how they feel about Trump as a party leader.

In a separate poll this month, conducted by WPA Intelligence, it was found that DeSantis would comfortably defeat incumbent President Joe Biden if the election were held in January 2023.  

In a lavish ceremony in the ballroom of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on November 15, Trump announced he was running for a third shot at the White House.

But the campaign got off to a somewhat slow start with relatively little fanfare, compared to the splash he made in 2016 as an outsider candidate and his bombastic case for re-election from the bully pulpit of the White House in 2020.

He’s finally holding his first official 2024 campaign event later this month, more than two months after filing paperwork to run.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s public approval rating was close to the lowest level of his presidency this week amid criticism from Republicans over classified documents found in his home in recent months, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The three-day national poll, which closed on Sunday, showed 40 percent of Americans approved of Biden’s performance as president, versus 39 percent in a Reuters/Ipsos poll a month earlier.

Biden began 2023 buoyed by unexpectedly strong midterm election results for Democrats. U.S. inflation was also falling and the Republican Party appeared in disarray after taking days to elect a speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

But the latest poll numbers suggest those factors may not have significantly changed the public view of the president as he prepares for an expected re-election bid in 2024.

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