by Mary Lou Masters
Former President Donald Trump leads Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for the 2024 GOP primary by a massive two-digit margin, doubling the support of DeSantis’ share, according to a poll released Friday.
Trump tops a crowded field of Republican presidential contenders at 50% – a 26-percentage point lead over the Florida governor – according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll. In a head-to-head matchup between the two frontrunners, the former president still wins against DeSantis, but by a slimmer margin of 56% to 44%.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott follow at 7%, 5%, 2% and 2%, respectively. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio garnered 1% of GOP support, and conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy amounted to 0%.
Trump also beat Haley in a head-to-head matchup among Republican voters, 70% to 30%. The majority of the GOP electorate believes the former president will win the Republican nomination, and of those who don’t, DeSantis was overwhelmingly tapped at 41%.
In a hypothetical general election against President Joe Biden, both frontrunners would win, with Trump ahead by 4 percentage points and DeSantis by 3 percentage points. Haley would lose against Biden 42% to 40% in 2024, but would win against Vice President Kamala Harris by 5 percentage points.
The Real Clear Politics (RCP) average for a 2024 Republican primary, based on polls conducted between Feb. 19 and March 23, indicates that Trump has a 15.3 percentage point lead.
Other polls mirror the Harvard CAPS/Harris findings. Trump is up against DeSantis 56% to 25% in the Republican primary, according to a March 22 Premise poll. Forty-four percent chose the former president and 36% picked the governor, according to a March 21 Monmouth poll. Trump leads DeSantis by 14 percentage points, according to a March 15 Quinnipiac poll.
The Harvard CAPS/Harris poll surveyed 2,905 registered voters over the course of March 22 – 23.
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Mary Lou Masters is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Governor Ron DeSantis. Background Photo “United States Capitol” by National Park Service.