Trump’s Lead in Republican Primary Grows as DeSantis Falls
Former President Donald Trump’s commanding lead in the Republican primary has continued to expand, reaching a new high in the latest Real Clear Politics (RCP) polling average. Trump, who announced his candidacy in November 2022, now stands at 58.8% in the national RCP average, maintaining a substantial advantage over his GOP rivals.
Trump’s closest competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has seen his support decline by more than ten percentage points since early June and currently sits at 12.5% in the RCP average. The rest of the Republican field trails significantly behind, with tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy at 7.5%, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at 5.0%, former Vice President Mike Pence at 4.1%, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at 2.3%, and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina also at 2.3%. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who both participated in the first GOP debate last month, are polling below 1% according to the RCP average.
In the most recent three polls conducted by Emerson, Yahoo News, and Morning Consult, Trump consistently garnered 59% support. Earlier polls by Harvard-Harris and Economist/YouGov had Trump at 57% and 55%, respectively. DeSantis’ highest level of support, 16%, was recorded in the Economist/YouGov poll. Ramaswamy reached double digits with 10% in the Morning Consult poll and came within two percentage points of DeSantis in the Harvard-Harris poll.
Trump has also pulled ahead of President Joe Biden in a hypothetical general election matchup, leading Biden nationally by 45.1% to 44.6%.
Despite his dominance in national polls, Trump’s support in Iowa, the first caucus state in the GOP primary, remains below 50%. In Iowa, Trump stands at 46.0%, followed by DeSantis at 15.8%. Senator Tim Scott and Nikki Haley received boosts in the state, coming in third and fourth place at 9.0% and 7.0%, respectively. Ramaswamy, Pence, Christie, and Burgum round out the field, polling above 2% in Iowa.
Trump’s recent comments on abortion, in which he criticized Republican states for passing six-week abortion bans, have sparked controversy among conservatives. It remains uncertain whether these remarks will affect his polling numbers.
Despite skipping the first and upcoming second Republican debates, Trump’s lead in the primary race appears to remain unaffected as he focuses on other campaign activities.