Harvard Poll: Donald Trump Doubles Ron DeSantis in Potential Republican Primary Matchup

DeSantis trump
James Devaney/GC Images, James Gilbert/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump leads Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in a potential Republican primary matchup by 23 percentage points, or by double the governor’s support, a Harvard Cap/Harris poll released Friday found.

Donald Trump earned 46 percent support of the poll’s respondents. DeSantis received 23 percent, exactly half of Trump’s total support.

While DeSantis has not jumped into the Republican primary against Trump, many expect he will.

The poll showed that if the Republican primary is a two-way race, Trump is favored by 12 points over DeSantis (56-44 percent).

Over half of the respondents say Trump will win the primary (54-46 percent).

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall campaign event, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, in Exeter, N.H. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall campaign event, Thursday, February 16, 2023, in Exeter, New Hampshire (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

On Tuesday, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley entered the race. The poll shows Haley with only six percent support, 40 points less than Trump.

The poll also found that former President Mike Pence leads Haley by one point (7 percent) or 39 points behind Trump.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 16: Former Vice President Mike Pence visits "Fox & Friends" at Fox News Channel studios on November 16, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Former Vice President Mike Pence on November 16, 2022, in New York City. (John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Pence is under investigation for possessing classified documents after leaving office in 2021, a violation for which the Justice Department is also investigating Trump and President Joe Biden.

In a hypothetical general election matchup between Biden and Trump, the poll found Trump leading by five points (46-41 percent). Thirteen percent were unsure.

DeSantis performed less well than Trump against Biden. The poll shows DeSantis and Biden essentially tied, with DeSantis leading by one point (42-41 percent). Seventeen percent were undecided.

If Biden decides to launch a 2024 campaign, 57-43 percent say Biden will be the Democrat nominee, three points comparatively greater than Trump’s Republican primary polling.

The poll surveyed 1,838 registered voters from February 15-16, 2023. The margin of error was not provided.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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