While former President Donald Trump and his top challenger, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, trail President Joe Biden in the last Morning Consult poll, Trump performs slightly better and is nearly tied with the incumbent.
Trump is trailing Biden just outside the 1-point margin of error at 42% to 44%, while DeSantis is down 5 points (38% to 43%). There is slightly more uncertainty on choosing a third-party candidate (12%) or being undecided (7%) when DeSantis is matched up with Biden, though, suggesting there is some room for that race to move.
Trump v. Biden is a race in which sides are more certain to have made of their minds.
“Hypothetical head-to-head matchups show Biden leading Trump by 2 points and DeSantis by 5 points among the general electorate,” according to pollster Eli Yokley‘s analysis. “Voters are slightly more uncertain about who they would support or say they would opt for ‘someone else’ when Biden is matched up against DeSantis.
“These numbers may be best considered as a test of electability — a key issue in party primaries that carries all the more significance this time around given concerns about Trump’s baggage and whether the GOP should work to maintain Trump’s coalition or to try to expand its base.”
There was a time before DeSantis officially entered the 2024 presidential primary race where he had performed better than Trump in hypothetical matchup versus Biden in the Morning Consult polling, but that moved to a toss-up in March before the indictments started to come, and officially swung to Trump’s favor every poll since once the indictments piled up and DeSantis officially entered the race.
The GOP primary remains strongly in hand for Trump, who leads the field by 43 points:
- Trump 57%
- DeSantis 14%
- Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy 9%
- Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley 6%
- Former Vice President Mike Pence 6%
- Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 3%
- Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., 2%
Four candidates received less than 1% support, registering a 0%: conservative broadcaster Larry Elder, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and former Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas. Businessman Perry Johnson and others were not included in the polling question.
Trump had held a campaign-high 47-point edge in early August, but the buzz remains strong around the former president as registered voters reported hearing more about Trump recently.
Most of the Trump support has gone to Haley after her debate performance last month.
“This improvement has been matched by a popularity boost, with potential GOP primary voters being 31 points more likely to hold a positive than negative opinion about her,” according to the pollster.
The Morning Consult poll surveyed roughly 6,000 registered voters, including 3,715 potential Republican primary voters Sept. 8-10. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage points for all registered voters and plus or minus 2 percentage points for registered GOP voters.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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