Poll shows Donald Trump in dominating position before the first GOP debate

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Victory Insights found the former President with 61% support to Ron DeSantis' 12%.

Ahead of the first Republican presidential primary debate, a national poll shows Donald Trump dominating Ron DeSantis by a growing margin.

Victory Insights found Trump leading the GOP field with almost 61% of likely GOP Primary voters favoring the former President. The Florida Governor remains in a distant second place, with 12% support.

Every other candidate in the field remains in single digits. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Vice President Mike Pence poll just under 4%. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley comes in under 2% while South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and businessman Perry Johnson show with 1%. The poll has a 3.5% margin of error.

“This is Donald Trump’s race to lose,” reads a polling memo from Victory Insights. “With three in five GOP voters already saying they’re backing Trump, and his most serious challenger barely holding on to double-digit support, the former president is in an excellent position. Assuming Trump doesn’t participate in the first RNC-sanctioned debate next week, the candidates on stage won’t really be fighting for the nomination — they’ll be fighting for second place.”

In a head-to-head match-up between Trump and DeSantis, the ex-President maintains a lead of more than 40 percentage points, with nearly 65% support compared to DeSantis’ more than 23%. More than 12% of voters would remain on the fence given the choice of only those two candidates.

But DeSantis fares better than others in a head-to-head with the frontrunner. Trump leads Ramaswamy 71% to 15%.

One big change in this poll and prior Victory Insights surveys is that Trump and DeSantis now share similar negatives, with about 19% of voters having an unfavorable view of either candidate. Meanwhile, Trump, even after being indicted four times, now holds a favorable rating in the eyes of 68% of respondents. DeSantis has that type of support with 51% of likely GOP voters, the only other candidate to register positively with more than half of those surveyed.

By comparison, both Christie and Pence draw more scorn than support. About 59% of respondents have a negative view of Christie and 54% see Pence in a poor light. Both have criticized Trump’s actions leading up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot while campaigning. Only 11% of those surveyed see Christie in a positive light, while 21% think well of Pence.

As for Ramaswamy, 40% think well of him, according to the survey, while only 14% think poorly of him.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • My Take

    August 18, 2023 at 10:32 am

    Trumpy in the news:
    It sounds like Georgia is going to take a mugshot.
    And Rudy apparently is going to be stiffed AND thrown ùnder the bus.

  • Josh Green

    August 18, 2023 at 10:42 am

    91 felony counts and he’s the dominant frontrunner. SMH.

    The Republican Party is absolutely full of broken people.

  • Dont Say FLA

    August 18, 2023 at 10:53 am

    The polls are wrong.

    The ATL jail cell bed bugs are in the dominant position.

  • Earl Pitts American

    August 18, 2023 at 11:11 am

    Good mornting America,
    Y’all on the left wish you can run against Trump. We are going to allow y’all to wallow in your sweet sweet dreams of spanking Trump for a second time for a little while longer.
    Thank you America,

      • Earl Pitts "The Ronald's UnOfficial Campaign Manager" American

        August 18, 2023 at 8:51 pm

        Your boy Trump just chickin’ed out of the debate and opted to stay home in his basement and pull his putskie instead.
        Watch “The Ronald” steal the show.

  • Joe

    August 18, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    Just wait till even more voters get to see Tiny D grimace onstage and hear his awful whiny voice: he’ll be down to 5% by the end of next week.

  • My Take

    August 19, 2023 at 8:07 am

    Trumpy’s most malignant MAGA morons seem to have abandoned him. Where are the nugè violent demonstrations at each indictment and hearing?

Comments are closed.


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