Trump is leading in the new poll in Iowa, but DeSantis and Scott see avenues to victory


This set of 2,023 photos shows, from left, former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

Charlie Neibergal, Meg Kennard | AP

Former President Donald Trump is leading by double digits over his closest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, in a major tournament. New survey of potential Republican candidates in Iowa released Monday. The state will hold its first nominating contest for the 2024 Republican presidential primary on January 15.

Trump has the support of 42% of respondents, with DeSantis coming in second with 19%. Trump’s 23-point lead over DeSantis is the largest GOP partisan advantage the poll has recorded since the 2000 primaries, when George W. Bush achieved a 30-point advantage.

After Trump and DeSantis, no other candidate has had double-digit support. Scott won, 9%; Former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley came in 6%; former New Jersey governor Chris Christie was 5%; and 4% belong to Vivek Ramaswamy, a businessman and political newcomer.

But Trump’s advantage is still not rigorous, according to the joint survey by the Des Moines Register, NBC News and Mediacom. 52% of respondents said that they have not yet decided who they will support, while 40% said that they are sure.

With about five months left before the Iowa caucuses, this uncertainty could be key to giving candidates like DeSantis and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott a chance — especially as Trump’s unprecedented criminal charges in four separate cases increasingly dominate his campaign message.

When asked who would be their second choice, a majority of 20% chose DeSantis, followed by Scott’s 15% and Ramaswamy’s 12%. 29% of respondents said they were actively thinking of Haley – the same percentage who said they were actively thinking of Scott.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents also said they had a favorable view of Trump, a hypothetical association with DeSantis.

Trump hailed the poll results in a social media post Monday morning, while announcing that he took $28 billion from China for American farmers — an assertion rated by fact-checkers. bloomer. And in a prelude to Iowa voters, Trump also asserted without evidence that he “saved” ethanol and grassroots entitlement programs.

The poll, conducted by Iowa pollster J. Ann Selzer, questioned 406 likely Republican candidates from Aug. 13-17. The margin of error is 4.9 percentage points.

While Trump and DeSantis share similar general approval ratings in the state — 63% for Trump and 61% for DeSantis — the Florida governor’s support appears to be more shaky than the former president’s.

Of the 40% of GOP nominees who say they’ve made up their minds on who they’ll support, two-thirds chose Trump, compared to 31% in favor of DeSantis.

Even worse for the conservative is the fact that while 52% of respondents said they might decide to pick someone else, DeSantis supporters were mostly unsure, not supporters of the other candidates.

DeSantis has positioned himself as the most electable candidate and the one most likely to defeat President Joe Biden, the incumbent Democrat, in a general election. But Iowa respondents said they care more about choosing a candidate who reflects their personal views on issues (65%) than someone with the best chance of winning the general election (29%).

The poll was conducted in the midst of Trump’s fourth indictment, the second alleging he illegally conspired to overturn his loss to Biden in the 2020 election. Some others Polls Trump has found himself expanding his lead after indicting him with criminal charges, as Republican voters largely view the indictments as politically motivated.

The poll results come just two days before the first GOP primary debate. Trump said he would skips debates, a move that denies his rivals a rare opportunity to attack the frontrunner in a live setting.

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