The Morning Consult 2024 presidential primary tracking poll shows former President Donald Trump maintaining a double-digit lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his nearest rival.
Trump had the support of 46% of Republicans surveyed, while DeSantis had 33%. No other candidate listed has double digits, with the next-closest being former Vice President Mike Pence at 9%.
The poll spanned January 6-8 and surveyed 4,470 Republican voters with a 2% margin of error. It was very similar to the last poll by Morning Consult, taken between December 31 and January 2, which showed Trump with 45% and DeSantis with 34%.
The picture so far
Right now, Trump is the only official candidate in the 2024 presidential race on either side, so the polling uses the most likely or well-known potential candidates.
DeSantis is widely expected to be preparing for a presidential run, but has not made anything public at this point.
Pence is also exploring a run, but seems unlikely to gain enough traction to challenge Trump.
Other candidates who seem interested in running but have not yet made a decision include former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Florida Sen. Tim Scott, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
When Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, the Republican field grew to more than a dozen candidates before settling down, but Trump’s oversized presence in 2024’s primaries may keep the numbers down if some candidates are intimidated by his way of personally attacking opponents or his apparent stranglehold on party support.
In reality, the only contender that seems able to challenge him right now is DeSantis, who has a strong record in Florida to run on and who has achieved national attention for fighting wokeness that has tried to encroach on his state from the federal government (with vaccine mandates, for example).
General election matchups
The latest poll also included asking 7,500 voters from all parties about their preferences in a hypothetical general election matchup between Trump and President Joe Biden, as well as Biden and DeSantis.
That part of the poll found that Biden would best Trump 44% to 41%, while Biden and DeSantis would be tied at 42%.
As in most elections these days, those who are currently undecided will likely decide many of these races.
It seems as though DeSantis might have a better chance running against Biden than Trump, according to the poll.
Trump’s high recognition level and high number of strong detractors mean that it will be difficult to find fresh faces to vote for Trump in 2024, while Republicans seem to look more favorably on DeSantis.