(WatchDogReport.org) – Some pundits questioned former President Donald Trump’s timing when he chose to announce he would be running for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential ticket on November 15, 2022. After a less-than-stellar midterm in which GOP candidates seriously underperformed estimates and pending a run-off election in Georgia to determine the balance of power in the Senate, Trump faced criticism for his timing. Yet, a new poll shows the previous commander-in-chief convincingly dominating the nearest runner-up: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R).
In a Morning Consult poll of more than 3,700 potential GOP primary voters conducted from January 14 through 16, when asked who they would vote for in the primary, Trump scored a 17-point lead over DeSantis with 48% to the Florida governor’s 31%. The poll carries a 2% margin of error.
By Trump trounces DeSantis in potential GOP primary match-up, new poll finds https://t.co/J1B49qMilk
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) January 19, 2023
Thus far, Trump is the only candidate to declare formally, but others have suggested they might announce their run later. When asked previously, Governor DeSantis has stated his intention to focus on the state of Florida, but pundits continue to raise his name as a potential candidate. Former Vice President Mike Pence is the next closest candidate, capturing 8% of potential primary votes.
The poll, updated weekly, looked at Trump’s improving favorability, another critical measure contributing toward his possible success in the primary. For the week of January 15, 77% of 829 Republican primary voters felt favorable about Trump versus 23% who held an unfavorable opinion, producing a net favorability rating of 54% for the former president. Meanwhile, 69% of respondents held positive opinions about DeSantis, while only 11% felt negative, yielding a net rating of 58%. Trump’s net favorability is up from 47% during the week of January 8, while DeSantis’ net favorability has been falling from a high of 63% during the week of December 29.
A lot can still happen between now and the beginning of the primary season in February 2024, but this poll clarifies that it would be a mistake to discount former President Trump’s popularity and influence among GOP voters.
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