Poll: Donald Trump’s High Favorability Has Not Budged After Skipping Debate

Supporters of former President Donald Trump chant and wave flags at a rally, Monday, April
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Former President Donald Trump did not lose any favorability following his decision to skip the first Republican primary debate, the latest Morning Consult survey released this week found.

The survey showed Trump remaining steady, with 76 percent of potential Republican primary voters viewing him favorably. That figure remains unchanged from the percentage he has seen for the last two weeks.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis still boasts the second-highest favorability, as 63 percent have a favorable view of him, which places him one point above the 62 percent who said the same last week. However, that is lower than the 65 percent he saw two weeks ago.

Last week, Trump and DeSantis tied in unfavorability, but DeSantis has now surpassed the former president, as 24 percent have an unfavorable view of the Florida governor, compared to 22 percent who said the same of Trump.

Anti-woke businessman Vivek Ramaswamy still sees a majority, 53 percent, viewing him favorably post-debate, although 13 percent still say they have never heard of him. Nineteen percent now report an unfavorable view as well.

All but two candidates on the debate stage in Milwaukee last week have a net positive favorable rating, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. However, 48 percent view former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie unfavorably, compared to 22 percent who have a favorable view. One-quarter also have an unfavorable view of former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, compared to 17 percent who have a favorable view. Notably, while Pence is above water in terms of favorability, 40 percent of potential GOP primary voters still have an unfavorable view of him, compared to 46 percent who do not.

(From L) Former Governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson, former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, former US Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy, former Governor from South Carolina and UN ambassador Nikki Haley, US Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, arrive onstage for the first Republican Presidential primary debate at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 23, 2023 (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images).

This portion of the survey was taken August 24-27, 2023, among 791 potential Republican primary voters. It has a +/- 4 percent margin of error.

The survey reinforces the narrative offered by Trump allies, who believe he made the right decision in skipping the Fox News debate, instead promoting his exclusive interview with Tucker Carlson, which dropped five minutes prior to the debate.

Trump has, meanwhile, continued to mock his challengers on social media, highlighting the “really BAD Polling for Ron DeSanctimonious,” particularly.

“He ought to spend more time in Florida! Remember when Sloppy Chris Christie spent almost all of his final year, as New Jersey Governor, in New Hampshire, with his Security and much else paid for by New Jersey taxpayers?” Trump asked.

“He got destroyed, left N.J. with a record low 8% approval rating, then got rejected by N.H., had NO SUPPORT, and dropped out of the race. Exact same thing is happening to DeSanctus. His Polls are dropping like a rock, including Florida!” he exclaimed.

Indeed, recent data from Victory Polling showed DeSantis losing his footing in his own state, with Trump asserting his dominance in the race; a 36-point swing away from DeSantis to Trump has transpired over the summer in the Sunshine State:


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