Republican voters view former President Donald Trump as the strongest candidate to challenge President Biden, a recent Monmouth University poll found.
The survey, taken prior to DeSantis formally jumping into the presidential race, found that a majority of Republican voters view Trump as the “strongest nominee” to go against Biden in 2024.
Overall, 63 percent chose Trump as the best nominee, and of those 45 percent said “definitely Trump” and 18 percent said “probably Trump.” Another 19 percent said “probably” another candidate, and 13 percent said “definitely” another.
Notably, the survey also found that a sizable portion of those supporting another candidate at this point in time, 4 in 10, still viewing Trump as “either definitely (23%) or probably (16%) the strongest nominee the GOP can field.”
“Only 22% of this group says the strongest Republican contender would definitely be someone other than Trump and 33% say it would probably be another candidate,” according to the survey.
This data coincides with the latest survey from The Economist/YouGov, which also found a plurality, 40 percent, choosing Trump as having the best chance of winning the 2024 general election, followed by 32 percent who remain unsure and 28 percent who said DeSantis.
Further, in an open-ended question which asked who they would like to see as the GOP nominee for president, 43 percent of GOP voters said they would like to see Trump as the nominee. The survey notes that the former president “now holds an advantage in practically every Republican voting bloc, with the noticeable exception of college graduates.” That is a stark change over the last three months, as DeSantis led among major groups mere months ago.
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In fact, in December 2022, 39 percent said they wanted to see DeSantis as the nominee, compared to 26 percent who said Trump. The two tied at 33 percent each in February, and in March, Trump took a solid lead, 41 percent to DeSantis’s 27 percent.
The current survey shows 19 percent identifying DeSantis as their choice as a 2024 GOP nominee, followed by three percent who said former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. No other candidate saw greater than one percent, and 23 percent remain unsure.
Monmouth: 2024 GOP Primary (*open ended question, list was not read)
Trump — 43% (+2 from March)
DeSantis — 19% (-8)
Pence — 3%
T. Scott — 3%
Haley — 1%
Paul — 1%
Ramaswamy — 1%
Undecided — 23%
Trump — 56%
DeSantis — 35%
05/18-24 | 655 RV https://t.co/7IjrTHwUXV pic.twitter.com/ezvZ4X9Ukl
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) May 30, 2023
The survey was taken May 18-24 — largely prior to DeSantis’s formal entrance into the race. It was taken among 655 registered voters who identify as Republican or lean Republican, and it has a +/- 5.5 percent margin of error.
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