Former President Donald Trump began his presidential campaign with the bulk of the Republican electorate behind him, but his grip is being put to the test ahead of the 2024 nominating contests. Morning Consult surveys are tracking the Republican primary electorate’s views of Trump and other declared or potential candidates, as well as how he fares with the wider electorate — a key metric for a party looking to turn the tide on recent electoral disappointments.
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Trump Posts Biggest Lead Yet Over GOP Field: Over 3 in 5 potential Republican primary voters (61%) back Trump’s bid for the GOP nomination, giving him his largest level of support yet over his current and potential rivals since Morning Consult began tracking the race in December. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who hit the campaign trail in Iowa over the weekend but has yet to officially launch a bid, is supported by 18% of the party’s prospective electorate.
Biden Maintains Narrow Lead Over Trump: A jury’s finding that Trump sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll and Trump’s contentious appearance at a CNN town hall-style event appear to have had a negligible impact on his standing against President Joe Biden in a hypothetical general election matchup. The latest surveys show Biden with a 3-percentage-point lead over Trump, similar to last week.
DeSantis Favorability Declines: DeSantis’ slide against Trump has coincided with a dip in the share of potential GOP primary voters who view him positively. Two-thirds view him favorably, down 6 points from last week.
Ramaswamy’s Favorability Increases: Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has seen his net favorability rating — the share with favorable views minus the share with unfavorable views — increase 29 points over the past month as more potential primary voters have become aware of him. More than 2 in 5 potential GOP primary voters (44%) view Ramaswamy favorably, giving him similar standing to former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (47%).
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Share of potential GOP primary voters who would support the following if the 2024 Republican primary were held today:
- Over 6 in 10 potential Republican primary voters (61%) would back Trump if the primary or caucus were held in their state today, compared with 18% who would support DeSantis.
- Haley and Ramaswamy are backed by 4% of the party’s electorate, while Hutchinson has 1% support.
After voters registered their first choice, they were asked a follow-up about whom they would choose as a second option; the results below show where the supporters for a selection of leading candidates or potential candidates could go next
- DeSantis is the second choice of 44% of potential GOP primary voters who are backing Trump, while 43% of the Florida governor’s supporters view Trump as their top backup option.
- Former Vice President Mike Pence is the second choice of 15% of Trump supporters and DeSantis backers. Haley is the second choice for 13% of DeSantis supporters, while Ramaswamy is the backup option for roughly 1 in 10 Trump and DeSantis supporters.
- Far more of Trump’s supporters (15%) than DeSantis’ (6%) are uncertain about where their loyalties would fall if their first choice weren’t in the race.
- Hypothetical head-to-head matchups show Biden with a 3-point lead over Trump and a 2-point lead over DeSantis.
- These numbers may be best considered as a test of electability — a key issue in party primaries that carries all the more significance this time around given concerns about Trump’s baggage and whether the GOP should work to maintain Trump’s coalition or to try to expand its base.
- Trump is popular with 78% of the party’s potential electorate, while 20% view him unfavorably.
- Two-thirds of potential Republican primary voters hold favorable views of DeSantis, down 6 points from last week.
- Just under half of GOP voters (47%) view Haley favorably, while 44% say the same of Ramaswamy and 17% say the same of Hutchinson.
- More potential GOP primary voters reported hearing bad information about Trump last week than the week before (42% to 33%), reflecting news of the E. Jean Carroll verdict and his CNN appearance.
- Few potential GOP primary voters are paying attention to Trump’s current challengers for the Republican nomination, with 81% saying they’d not recently heard anything about Hutchinson, 70% saying the same about Haley and 59% saying the same about Ramaswamy.
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The latest national results on questions pertaining to 2024 Republican presidential primary first choice, second choice and hypothetical general-election matchups reflect surveys conducted May 12-14, 2023. The first- and second-choice results reflect responses among 3,571 potential Republican primary voters. Our sample of potential Republican primary voters includes any registered voter who said they plan to vote in the Republican presidential primary or caucus in their state in 2024.
Potential GOP primary voters who initially said they did not know or had no opinion about which candidate they plan to vote for were asked to pick a candidate they are leaning toward. Results are reported among first choice and those who lean toward a candidate.
The hypothetical general-election results against President Joe Biden reflect responses among a nationally representative sample of more than 5,000 registered voters.
Morning Consult’s reported results among both sets of voters for the aforementioned questions reflect data based on a three-day trailing average. Across all times series, results among potential Republican primary voters have an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 1 to 2 percentage points, while results among all voters have an unweighted margin of error of 1 percentage point.
Morning Consult conducts daily interviews with a representative sample of roughly 4,000 registered voters in the United States via stratified sampling based on age, gender, and language (English/Spanish). This daily sample is weighted based on age, education, ethnicity, gender, geographic region, home ownership, marital status and 2020 presidential vote history.
Morning Consult’s reported results on questions pertaining to candidate favorability and buzz reflect data gathered on a weekly or biweekly basis among roughly 800 potential Republican primary voters, with an unweighted margin of error of 4 percentage points.
About Morning Consult
Morning Consult is a global decision intelligence company changing how modern leaders make smarter, faster, better decisions. The company pairs its proprietary high-frequency data with applied artificial intelligence to better inform decisions on what people think and how they will act. Learn more at morningconsult.com.
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