Trump takes commanding lead in GOP primary field

 January 26, 2023

Donald Trump has taken a commanding 35-point lead in a potentially crowded 2024 primary battle, according to a recent poll. 

Trump sweeps with 59 percent of GOP primary voters, followed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) at 24 percent in the Premise Poll.

Trump takes the lead

Trump has recently been written off by most media and political commentators as past his prime, but he remains the favorite of GOP voters in most polls.

The only other potential primary candidate to show competitive strength against Trump is DeSantis. The Florida governor is far more popular than other would-be Trump challengers, but he typically lags Trump by double-digits.

Mike Pence comes in third at 8 percent in the Premise Poll, while Liz Cheney, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, and Tim Scott all came in at 2 percent or less.

In a general election match-up, Trump and DeSantis both tie Joe Biden 50-50. The poll was taken from January 19 to January 23.

Primary heats up

This is the latest recent survey to reflect Trump's enduring strength, not only with the Republican base but also potentially with general election voters.

In a recent Emerson College Poll, Trump beat out Biden by three points, reflecting a three-point gain for Trump since November and a four-point drop for Biden. Trump is also blazing ahead of the GOP primary field by 26 points, while DeSantis trails Biden by a point.

While Trump remains the frontrunner in a field of one, the 2024 horserace is heating up. Nikki Haley all but announced she is running in a softball interview with Fox News, and former vice president Mike Pence and former secretary of state Mike Pompeo have taken veiled shots at their former boss.

DeSantis has received by far the most buzz of any candidate not named Trump, and Trump has started to aggressively push back, threatening to "handle" the Florida governor if he runs for president.

Biden saddles Dems

DeSantis hasn't said whether he's running, but his rhetoric has been seen as showing national ambitions, and he has appeared to attempt to outflank Trump on the COVID vaccine.

While the GOP primary gets heated, Democrats are in limbo with a deeply unpopular 80-year-old president at the helm -- who is now mired in a classified document scandal that threatens to overshadow a re-election kickoff.

If Biden does not run, vice president Kamala Harris is the favored candidate among Democrats, with 33 percent, followed by -- believe it or not -- Hillary Clinton at 19 percent, according to the Premise Poll.

California governor Gavin Newsom (D) has gotten quite a bit of attention, but he falls behind Clinton at 9 percent.

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