Former President Donald Trump continues to be the top choice of registered voters who are Republicans or Independents who lean toward the Republican party, recent polling by the Economist/YouGov finds. Among this group, Trump holds a 30-percentage-point lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a hypothetical primary held now; each of the other announced candidates tested get less than 10% support. Trump fares better — and DeSantis fares worse — among women in this group of registered Republicans and Republican leaners. Trump performs better among people in this group without a college degree and DeSantis does better among people with one. One in ten Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters (11%) aren’t sure whom they'd support in a hypothetical primary held in their state today.
Even in the South, DeSantis’s home region, the Florida governor trails the former president by 30 points — the same as Trump's lead nationwide.
Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters see Trump as their party’s strongest candidate. About half of the group (48%) say he is; 32% say he is not. Asked directly about whether Trump would win or lose in a general election race in 2024 against President Joe Biden, 70% of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters think Trump would win that contest; about as many (69%) say the same thing about DeSantis. Fewer than half see each of the other candidates polled as likely winners against Biden. Republicans aren’t convinced each of these candidates would lose to Biden, but many aren’t sure what would happen in such matchups.
Among Americans overall, Trump and DeSantis also are seen as the Republican candidates most likely to beat Biden; DeSantis is 6 points more likely than Biden to be seen as the winner of a head-to-head matchup between the two.
This poll suggests 2024 could produce another close contest if Joe Biden and Donald Trump were again the nominees from their parties: 41% of registered voters say they would vote for Biden and 41% would vote for Trump.
Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.
Image: Getty Images (Joe Raedle / Staff)