Former President Trump is seeing a double-digit lead in a hypothetical 2024 Republican primary as potential challengers, including Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), are polling at one or zero percent, a Morning Consult survey released this week found.
The survey found Trump taking a sizable lead among his potential challengers, as nearly half, 48 percent, of potential GOP voters choose Trump as their nominee.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) comes in a distant second, falling 17 points behind with 31 percent support.
Former Vice President Mike Pence places third with 8 percent support, and the rest of the potential challengers listed fall to three percent or less.
Anti-Trumper and former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), for instance, garnered just three percent support, followed by former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), both of whom saw two percent support.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) saw one percent support each, as did former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) saw zero percent support, and one percent also chose “someone else”:
2024 National Republican Primary
Donald Trump: 48%
Ron DeSantis: 31%
Mike Pence: 8%
Liz Cheney: 3%
Nikki Haley: 2%
Ted Cruz: 2%
Greg Abbott: 1%
Kristi Noem: 1%
Mike Pompeo: 1%
Tim Scott: 1%
Glenn Youngkin: 0%
Morning Consult, 3763 RV, 01/14-16https://t.co/dQctcc2gBX
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) January 18, 2023
The survey represents little change over the past month, as 48 percent supported Trump on December 18. DeSantis, however has seen support decline from 33 percent in that time frame. Nevertheless, DeSantis still stands as the favorite second choice of Trump supporters — 44 percent chose him. Similarly, 37 percent of DeSantis supporters chose Trump as their second choice.
The survey also found Trump leading Biden by three points in a head to head matchup, with six percent remaining undecided and 11 percent choosing someone else.
However, the same survey shows Biden leading DeSantis by three percent in a head to head matchup, with seven percent voting for someone else and eight percent remaining undecided.
Trump continues to boast a strong favorable rating among potential Republican primary voters — 77 percent view him favorably, while 69 percent said the same of DeSantis. Youngkin, who polled at zero percent the hypothetical primary, has just 29 percent viewing him favorably. A big part of that is his lack of name recognition, as 37 percent said they have never heard of him.
The Morning Consult survey was taken January 14-16, 2023, among 3,763 Republican potential primary voters and has a +/- 2 percent margin of error.
Trump remains the only Republican formally in the race, but that has not stopped him from targeting his potential challengers early on. He has zeroed in on DeSantis, who has not indicated if he intends to run against Trump. In the past, however, he has denied such speculation as “purely manufactured.” But his lack of overtly stating that he will not run against Trump has sparked tension between the two, although DeSantis has dismissed reports of a “Civil War” between himself and Trump and has refused to criticize the former president.
“So, now I hear he might want to run against me. So, we’ll handle that the way I handle things,” Trump recently said, taking credit for helping DeSantis get elected against Democrat Andrew Gillum in 2018. Notably, DeSantis narrowly defeated the Democrat that year by under 33,000 votes, going on to defeat Democrat Charlie Crist in 2022 by roughly 1.5 million in 2022.
Trump has also taken a jab at Youngkin, mocking his name in November.
“Young Kin (now that’s an interesting take. Sounds Chinese, doesn’t it?) in Virginia couldn’t have won without me,” Trump wrote on social media at the time.