Poll: Donald Trump Grows Lead over Primary Field in South Carolina

NOVI, MICHIGAN - JUNE 25: Former U.S. President Donald Trump is introduced at the Oakland
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More than four in ten likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina, the second GOP primary state in the nation, want former President Donald Trump to be their party’s 2024 nominee, while three other candidates take double-digit support, according to a poll.

The National Public Affairs poll released Wednesday shows that 41 percent of the 809 respondents back Trump for the GOP nomination. He sits 23 points above his nearest competitor, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), at 18 percent, who finds a pair of opponents within striking distance.

For reference, a May survey from the pollster showed Trump at 38 percent and DeSantis at 23 percent, marking an eight-point swing Trump’s way in a month’s time. Moreover, that poll was conducted before DeSantis’s campaign launch.

Former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC), who was the Palmetto State’s executive from 2011-2017, holds third place with twelve percent support, followed by fellow South Carolinian Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) at ten percent. Another five percent back former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), while former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) tie at two percent. Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) takes one percent, while six percent are undecided.

Notably, the poll does not include declared candidates radio host Larry Elder, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, or businessman Perry Johnson, and it was conducted prior to former Rep. Will Hurd’s (R-TX) entrance into the field earlier this week.

Trump also leads the field by double digits among independents with 28 percent support. Haley has the second most with 16 percent, followed by DeSantis (13 percent), Scott (12 percent), and Christie (11 percent).

Trump won all of the state’s delegates in 2016 with just 32.5 percent of the vote, beating out his nearest competitors, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), who had 22.5 percent and 22.3 percent of the vote, respectively.

Currently, Trump posts strong leads in two counties Rubio took in 2016, Charleston and Richmond, according to the polling memo. Moreover, Trump leads by 26 percent in Greenville County, where he won over Cruz by just two percent seven years ago.

“If Trump wins these Rubio counties in 2024, the race is over,” the memo asserts.

As popular as Trump is, 35 percent of respondents say they are either not considering, to varying degrees, or will certainly not vote for him, per the poll. However, 32 percent and 35 percent say the same for DeSantis and Haley, respectively, marking ten percent increases month over month. Pence and Chrsitie fare the worst on this front, with 55 percent saying they are either not considering or certainly will not vote for the former vice president. Two in three voters take the same approach to Chrisite.

National Public Affairs sampled 809 likely GOP primary voters from June 20-21. A margin of error was not specified.


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