Trump dominates Republican field in California: polls

 June 7, 2023

Donald Trump is dominating the Republican primary field in California, a new poll found.

The former president leads his closest competitor, Ron DeSantis, by 29 points in the PPIC survey, Breitbart reported.

Trump comes ahead with 50 points, while DeSantis has 21 points. Former vice president Mike Pence is the only other candidate to make double digits, with 10 percent.

Trump leads in California

The survey was taken May 17–24, 2023, among 1,576 California adult residents, before DeSantis entered the race.

The governor, long seen as the only viable Republican alternative to Trump, has yet to see a polling bounce since launching his candidacy last month. Instead, Trump's lead has widened.

Another poll, from the University of California-Berkeley Institute of Government Studies (IGS), found that Trump is leading DeSantis in the state by 18 points. It's a reversal from a few months ago, when DeSantis was leading Trump in the state by eight points.

The latest polling underscores the challenge Trump's rivals face in denying him the party's nomination.

"Even in California, where a majority of voters view Trump unfavorably, his presence looks large, with Republican voters feeling he is being treated unfairly in the courts and public opinion,” IGS co-director G. Cristina Mora said.

Horserace heats up

While California's primary doesn't receive as much attention as early nominating contests in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, the state's rich delegate haul makes it a valuable target.

Florida is another major delegate haul. Trump is topping DeSantis in his own state in some polls.

Meanwhile, the field of candidates is rapidly growing, raising concern among anti-Trump Republicans that the dynamic will play to Trump's advantage. Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, North Dakota governor Doug Burgum (R), and Pence have all entered the race this week.

The way things look, there may be a narrow path to denying Trump the nomination -- at least through conventional means. The former president is expected to be federally charged any day now, and he is already facing trial over "hush money" in New York.

While Trump's legal battles tend to endear him to the Republican base, they could also hamstring his campaign, as Trump has lamented often -- accusing Democrats of unprecedented "election interference." But looking at the polls, Trump has reasons to be happy right now.

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