Donald Trump Continues to Lead the GOP Pack – Former President Donald Trump has a commanding lead among the Republican candidates seeking the party’s nomination for president next year. Trump posted record-high primary support, according to the latest update from Morning Consult, which was released on Tuesday.
The latest survey showed Trump had the support of 61 percent of potential Republican primary voters, and Morning Consult further found that in recent days, the former president support was as high as 63 percent – a record since the track began last December.
As Trump’s support continues to raise, his closet rival, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, has seen his numbers come crashing down – and he currently trails Trump by 49 percentage points. His current support is the lowest he’s seen, at 12 percent. Even worse for the Sunshine State governor is that he has just a three-point lead over businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who one in five potential primary voters now say is their second choice.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley currently stands at six percent in the Morning Consult polls, while former Vice President Mike Pence has five percent support from potential primary voters. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a one-time ally and advisor to Trump, maintains three percent support.
The Morning Consult survey also found that South Carolina Senator Tim Scott has gained little traction, and is currently hanging his hopes of winning his home state’s important primary contest. However, he just two percent backing, down from a four percent reach in early August.
“Roughly 7 in 10 potential primary voters say they have not heard anything at all about him recently,” Morning Consult noted on Tuesday.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former Texas Rep. Will Hurd each maintain essentially zeo support for the GOP’s 2024 nomination.
Second Choices if Donald Trump Can’t Run?
Given that the election is still nearly 13 months out, a lot can happen, and it is clear that Trump’s legal woes aren’t going to go away. Though he maintains 61 percent support – compared to 38 percent support for every other candidate combined – it is also clear that some voters are considering alternative options.
In that case, DeSantis does seem to maintain an edge, with 32 percent support as a second choice. Ramaswamy had 24 percent support, while Pence maintained 10 percent and Haley eight percent. A full 16 percent said they didn’t know, or had no opinion.
The Morning Consult survey found that Trump is in a virtual tie with President Joe Biden – with Trump trailing Biden by one point, 43 to 42 percent. That tracks with other polls that found the two locked neck and neck in a hypothetical rematch.
More notable was that Biden maintained a four point lead – 41 percent to 38 percent – over DeSantis.
Trump Remains the De Facto Leader of the GOP
Based on the survey, it would seem that Trump remains the de facto leader of the Republican party heading into the 2024 primary season.
“Trump is popular with 78% of the party’s potential electorate, while 20% view him unfavorably, marking a slight improvement to his net favorability since the end of September,” Morning Consult also reported. “Christie’s popularity has reached a new low as he continues his campaign attacking Trump. The latest survey shows 51% of potential GOP primary voters hold unfavorable views about him compared with 22% who view him favorably.”
For now, Trump’s challengers for the GOP’s 2024 nomination are continuing to struggle for much attention. The question will be whether that continues as Trump spends more time in the various courtrooms.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.