Despite what seems like countless legal problems, support among Republican voters remains high for Donald Trump, with his lead over party rivals closing in on a monumental 40-point advantage.
A New York Times/Siena College poll released on July 31 revealed 54 percent of party voters would pledge for Trump in a Republican primary contest.
His next closest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, lags far behind with 17 percent – a full 37 percentage point difference. No other candidate achieved more than 3 percent of the vote.
To say it’s a huge lead would be an understatement; Trump’s advantage means that even unity among his opponents behind a single candidate would not be enough to prevent him from becoming the Republican nominee in 2024.
According to the poll, Trump leads among GOP voters in almost every demographic, as well as among those on opposite sides of the political spectrum within the party.
Poor Ron DeSantis
As recently as February, DeSantis practically tied Trump as to who Republicans would like to see as their presidential nominee in 2024.
This was, importantly, before Trump’s two indictments.
Back then, around 40 percent of Republicans preferred a fresh face over one who has dominated U.S. politics for the best part of a decade.
According to the latest figures, however, the Florida Governor is now barely able to rely on one-sixth of his voters to support him in the upcoming primaries.
That’s not to say DeSantis is unpopular with Republicans; he retains favorable ratings among 66 percent of party supporters, with a quarter of those surveyed maintaining a “very favorable” view of the 44-year-old.
Compared to Trump, however, both are small figures, with 76 percent at least in favor of the former president, and 43 percent holding very favorable views.
Among Trump’s loyalist supporters, 92 percent would back him in a one-on-one with DeSantis; for the latter, he struggles to maintain a lead among those asked the same question with a 49-48 advantage.
Trump even leads his closest rival among voters who believed he has committed serious federal crimes at 22 percent – more than the 17 percent DeSantis received from all surveyed.
Respondents were also presented with a series of words and phrases and asked to decide which candidate they most associated that phrase with.
Trump bear DeSantis comfortably in several responses, including “strong leader” (69-22), “gets things done” (67-22), “able to beat Joe Biden” (58-28), and “fun” (54-16).
On the contrary, DeSantis was found to be more “likable” (45-43) and “moral” (45-37).
Of course, opinion polls alone do not decide elections, particularly when there’s still six months to go before the primaries begin, but, certainly at this stage, Trump is the clear favorite to become the Republican nominee in 2024.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.