Donald Trump Dominates GOP Primary Field: Surges 40 Points Ahead, New Poll Reveals – Former President Donald Trump continues to consolidate his lead in the GOP primary field, surpassing his rivals by an impressive 40 points, according to a recent NBC News poll.
Trump’s Overwhelming Support
The poll indicates that Trump enjoys a substantial 59% of likely support among Republican primary voters, leaving Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis far behind with 16% support. Other contenders like former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie register at 7%, 4%, and 4%, respectively.
Legal Battles Don’t Deter Trump
Trump’s legal battles don’t seem to be hampering his dominance in the GOP primary race. In fact, since June, his lead has grown substantially, defying expectations. Even after facing charges related to mishandling classified documents and attempts to overturn the 2020 election results, Trump’s lead has widened.
Gains Across Demographics
The NBC News poll noted that Trump’s gains came from various demographic segments, including men, seniors, and moderate Republican voters. This indicates a broad-based appeal that could significantly impact the upcoming primary elections.
Trump has leveraged his strong poll numbers to skip certain GOP primary debates, including the recent one in California. Instead, he chose to address a group of union workers in Detroit, coinciding with an ongoing Union Auto Workers (UAW) strike at three major automakers.
The NBC News poll, conducted from September 15 to 19, involved 1,000 registered voters, ensuring a comprehensive and diverse sample. The poll carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
The 2024 Republican primary race is witnessing a resurgence of Trump’s influence, setting the stage for a highly competitive and closely watched election cycle.
Expert Says Rivals Have a Chance Against Trump
Dr. Mitchell Brown, the Curtis O. Liles III Professor at Auburn University’s Department of Political Science told 19FortyFive, “The accuracy of polling data generally is really complicated, but the folks who run these polls are smart and are doing the best polling they can in the current environment (note that the margin of error for Republican primary voters is higher than what was noted in The Hill piece—they only ran the margin for the full sample). The real issue is that we are still really far away from the primaries and a lot can change between now and then.”
When quizzed over why she thought Trump’s legal issues were not heavily impacting his popularity, Dr Brown, who is one of the US’ leading academic authorities in election science, explained, “His base is comprised of people who largely don’t care about those issues nor any of the other more personal accusations about him (misogyny, sexual assault, etc.), and some of them maintain Trump was correct with respect to Jan 6.”
“It is clear that among parts of his consistent base of supporters, these issues will solidify his cultivated image as a martyr, and among opposition supporters will only double down on their view of him as a criminal.”
While Dr. Brown acknowledged “a schism in the Republican party over Trump,” she said she “imagine[d] that if he won the nomination that most of the traditional party supporters, whether they support Trump personally or not, would vote for him (though for a small group, it is clear that they would sit the election out, select a write-in, or vote the other contests but not the top contest on the ballot).”
Despite the current odds, Dr. Brown said she “thinks” Trump’s GOP rivals still stood a chance against Mr MAGA. “This election is not over in any way—but what is clear is that Trump is running an atypical primary campaign and his team is also quite skilled at manipulating and changing party rules as a deliberate strategy to win. Public opinion isn’t enough, and his rivals will have to be as capable with backroom dealing as Trump and his team are to emerge victorious.”
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.
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