Tuesday, July 12, 2022

If Held Today, President Trump Would Win the #GOP Primaries

He's got a huge plurality of supporters in this this new poll out from the New York Times.

See, "Half of G.O.P. Voters Ready to Leave Trump Behind, Poll Finds":

Far from consolidating his support, the former president appears weakened in his party, especially with younger and college-educated Republicans. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is the most popular alternative.

As Donald J. Trump weighs whether to open an unusually early White House campaign, a New York Times/Siena College poll shows that his post-presidential quest to consolidate his support within the Republican Party has instead left him weakened, with nearly half the party’s primary voters seeking someone different for president in 2024 and a significant number vowing to abandon him if he wins the nomination.

By focusing on political payback inside his party instead of tending to wounds opened by his alarming attempts to cling to power after his 2020 defeat, Mr. Trump appears to have only deepened fault lines among Republicans during his yearlong revenge tour. A clear majority of primary voters under 35 years old, 64 percent, as well as 65 percent of those with at least a college degree — a leading indicator of political preferences inside the donor class — told pollsters they would vote against Mr. Trump in a presidential primary.

Mr. Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, appears to have contributed to the decline in his standing, including among a small but important segment of Republicans who could form the base of his opposition in a potential primary contest. While 75 percent of primary voters said Mr. Trump was “just exercising his right to contest the election,” nearly one in five said he “went so far that he threatened American democracy.”

Overall, Mr. Trump maintains his primacy in the party: In a hypothetical matchup against five other potential Republican presidential rivals, 49 percent of primary voters said they would support him for a third nomination.

The greatest threat to usurp Mr. Trump within the party is Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who was the second choice with 25 percent and the only other contender with double-digit support. Among primary voters, Mr. DeSantis was the top choice of younger Republicans, those with a college degree and those who said they voted for President Biden in 2020.

While about one-fourth of Republicans said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion about Mr. DeSantis, he was well-liked by those who did. Among those who voted for Mr. Trump in 2020, 44 percent said they had a very favorable opinion of Mr. DeSantis — similar to the 46 percent who said the same about Mr. Trump.

Should Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Trump face off in a primary, the poll suggested that support from Fox News could prove crucial: Mr. Trump held a 62 percent to 26 percent advantage over Mr. DeSantis among Fox News viewers, while the gap between the two Floridians was 16 points closer among Republicans who mainly receive their news from another source.

The survey suggests that Mr. Trump would not necessarily enter a primary with an insurmountable advantage over rivals like Mr. DeSantis. His share of the Republican primary electorate is less than Hillary Clinton’s among Democrats was at the outset of the 2016 race, when she was viewed as the inevitable front-runner, but ultimately found herself embroiled in a protracted primary against Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont...

Still more.

And Bill Schneider suggested the other day that Trump might announce his 2024 run before the November midterms. We'll see. That's not unprecedented. Howard Dean formally announced his bid for the 2004 Democratic nomination June 23, 2003, but he was campaigning way before then, in the second half of 2002.

If Trump's able to raise a massive war chest --- to the tune of say $2 billion or so --- then he'd certainly scare off much of the competition. But let's see how much DeSantis is able to raise in 2023, should he throw his hat into the ring. He's the one on fire right now. I like him. I hope he's the nominee. He'll crush any Democrat in the 2024 general election.