Former President Donald Trump is still holding a commanding 35-point advantage over his nearest GOP rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to a new Emerson Iowa poll released Tuesday.
The poll shows Trump with 49% of the primary vote and DeSantis coming in second at 14%.
According to the polling, both Trump and DeSantis have seen their support decrease from an earlier poll, conducted in May, as others in the field have picked up slightly.
According to the data, both South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy saw an increase of 5 percentage points between May and September, the largest rise among the candidates. Trump saw a decrease of 13 percentage points and DeSantis dropped 6 percentage points during the same period.
“Trump holds the majority of support among voters without a college degree, but his support decreases to 28% among those whose highest level of education is a college degree, and 27% with a postgraduate degree,” Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said in announcing the results of the poll. “Twenty-four percent of those with a college degree support DeSantis, but the Florida Governor’s support drops to 16% among postgraduates, with Haley earning 20% of this vote.”
Another key takeaway from the poll is that 39% of voters in the early caucus state said they would consider a different candidate and possibly change their vote.
“Trump supporters are the most likely to stick with their candidate as 79% say they will definitely vote for the former President, while just 21% say they could change their mind,” Kimball said. “Conversely, 71% of Scott voters, 70% of Haley, 56% of DeSantis, and 46% of Ramaswamy voters say there is a chance they could change their mind and vote for a different candidate.”
On the Democratic side, all three declared candidates, President Joe Biden, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and author Marianne Williamson saw their support drop, with Biden losing 19 percentage points since May, from 69% to 50%, while Kennedy dropped from 11% to 9% and Williamson from 10% to 7%, according to the polling.
The category of “someone else or undecided” increased by 24%, from 10% in May to 34% in September, according to the poll.
“Biden has lost some support in the Democratic caucus, with a large number of voters being undecided,” Kimball said. “Young voters and women voters are two groups who have lower support for Biden than their counterparts: Only 38% of Democratic voters under 30 support Biden in a caucus, and 41% of women are undecided.”
A majority 54% of those surveyed in the poll disapprove of the job Biden is doing as president, while 37% say the economy is the number one issue the country is facing.
In a general election rematch between Trump and Biden, the poll finds Trump coming in ahead, with 48% support compared to 35%.
The poll was conducted Sept. 7-9 with 896 registered Iowa voters and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points.
Charles Kim ✉
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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