Former President Donald Trump holds a commanding lead over Republican challengers for the 2024 GOP nomination. He bests Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his next closest competitor, by 46 percentage points.
But days out from a Republican presidential campaign where Trump appears unlikely to attend, DeSantis still has twice the support of anyone else expected on the stage.
A CBS News-YouGov poll shows 62% of likely GOP Primary voters want Trump to be the nominee. That means even with the survey’s 5.7% margin of error, more than half of Republican voters remain firmly in the ex-Commander-in-Chief’s corner.
About 16% of respondents want DeSantis, a drop from prior polls from the same outfit but still quite a bit ahead of others desirous of the nomination.
Everyone else showing up in the polls appears in the single digits. About 7% of those surveyed prefer businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, 5% want former Vice President Mike Pence, and 3% favor South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott. Both former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie boast 2% support. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson made the poll but with just 1% backing.
But more than lagging Trump, the poll shows another challenge for candidates hoping to siphon support away from the front-runner. About 91% of voters want other candidates to make the case for their own records as they run instead of criticizing Trump. Just 9% support making the case against returning Trump to the White House.
Half of voters say too much of the conversation about the race to date has been about Trump.
And few seem receptive to the most frequent lines of attack against Trump anyway. About 73% of Republicans surveyed in the poll see the four recent indictments of Trump this year as a reason to support the former President now. About 77% believe those indictments to be politically motivated.
Only 8% of voters said they were concerned Trump tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election, a chief accusation in the indictment.
Republican voters also put a lot of trust in Trump. Among those who consider honesty “very important” in determining their vote, Trump leads 61% to DeSantis’ 17%.
Of note, respondents in the poll also have more faith that Trump will win the election than they appear to for any candidate. About 61% believe Trump, as the Republican nominee, would win the presidency next year. Only 35% believe the same about DeSantis; 20% feel the same about Scott; 18% feel that way about Ramaswamy. About 14% believe Haley or Pence can win the election.