In an eye-catching display of political dominance, former President Donald Trump is eclipsing his rivals like Ron DeSantis in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
The latest New York Times/Siena College poll for the 2024 campaign reveals that Trump holds a commanding 37 percentage-point lead over his nearest contender, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, among likely Republican primary voters.
Trump’s influence extends across virtually every demographic group and geographic region, defying concerns about his legal challenges. The poll found that Trump leads comfortably among men and women, older and younger voters, moderates and conservatives, college-educated and non-college-educated individuals, and residents of cities, suburbs, and rural areas.
Ron DeSantis’ Uphill Struggle
The survey underscores the uphill battle faced by DeSantis, whose core campaign arguments about electability and effective governance have yet to resonate with the Republican base. Even supporters of issues driving DeSantis’ rise, such as opposing “radical woke ideology,” are favoring Trump.
The poll statistics portray Trump’s lead over DeSantis as a staggering 54 percent to 17 percent. Other candidates barely register, with no contender surpassing 3 percent support.
DeSantis’ struggles are especially pronounced among pivotal Republican voter groups. He captures a mere 9 percent of support from voters aged 65 and older, and only 13 percent from those without a college degree. Those who identify as “very conservative” favor Trump by a 50-point margin.
The poll also suggests that Trump’s grip on the Republican Party remains robust, with only around a quarter of GOP voters leaning toward an anti-Trump stance. Notably, only 19 percent of respondents believed Trump’s actions post-2020 election jeopardized American democracy, and just 17 percent view him as having committed serious federal crimes.
These numbers underscore the challenges DeSantis faces in dethroning Trump from his position as the GOP frontrunner. Despite DeSantis’ overall positive image within the party, his support pales in comparison to Trump’s fervent following.
Donald Trump Is ‘My Guy’
In the race’s hypothetical one-on-one scenario, DeSantis struggles against Donald Trump, trailing by a significant margin of 62 percent to 31 percent. These results underscore Trump’s substantial lead over his rivals and hint at the challenges DeSantis and others face in bridging the gap.
“The concern might be that he’s just a bully, but at the end of the day, you want results. Donald Trump’s my guy. He’s proved it on a national level,” 69-year-old New Hampshire retail manager David Green told the Times.
Trump’s firm grasp on the party and his ability to galvanize supporters make him a dominant force in the 2024 race.
As election season looms, the dynamics between the ex-president, his rivals, and the legal cloud hovering over him will continue to define the landscape for both his party and the American nation.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.