A Morning Consult poll conducted following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) presidential bid on May 24 found that former President Donald Trump is leading the crowded Republican primary field by 34 points above his closest rival.
After announcing his candidacy for president last week, DeSantis showed minimal change in the poll, which surveyed respondents from May 26 to May 28. Additionally, it demonstrated Trump’s continued command of the GOP field.
Only 22% of respondents favored DeSantis, compared to 56% who supported Trump. Former Vice President Mike Pence (5%), former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (4%), and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) (3%), were the only other candidates with support of five percent or less.
Although the 34-point advantage is a little smaller than Trump’s previous lead of 43 points in May, according to the same pollster, the narrowing seems to have occurred prior to DeSantis’s announcement.
“Following the Florida governor’s declaration on May 24,” Morning Consult’s Eli Yokley said that “Trump leads DeSantis, 56% to 22%. The former president’s margin has shrunk by 10 points since mid-May, although much of that fall occurred before DeSantis formally launched his campaign.”
In other words, it seems that DeSantis’ announcement, which had significant technical difficulties on his Twitter Spaces move with Elon Musk, did not in any way alter the course of the contest.
In a fictitious general election between all voters, DeSantis also fared worse than Trump versus Biden. Biden received 43 percent of the vote, while DeSantis received 40 percent. At 43 percent apiece, voters divided their allegiance between Trump and Biden.
“Given worries about Trump’s baggage and whether or not the GOP should attempt to keep Trump’s coalition or try to broaden its base,” Yokley noted, “These numbers may be best viewed as a test of electability — an important factor in party primaries that carries even greater significance this time around.”
Trump is also the most well-liked candidate among GOP contenders, according to the survey, which resulted in 79 percent. 71% of respondents thought highly of DeSantis, 57 % of respondents thought well of Pence, and 49% of respondents thought favorably of Haley.
With a 2-point margin of error, the survey polled 3,485 possible GOP primary voters from May 26–28. The survey polled 4,000 registered voters overall between May 16 and May 28, with a one-point margin of error.
In an earlier survey conducted by Quinnipiac University between May 18 and 22, Trump had a 31-point advantage. According to a Monmouth survey released this week, the majority of Republican voters think that former President Trump is the most qualified Republican to challenge President Biden in 2024.