Trump keeps massive lead, Haley ties DeSantis for second in new 2024 GOP presidential primary poll

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With less than four weeks to go until the first votes in the 2024 White House race, a new national poll indicates former President Donald Trump remains the commanding front-runner for the Republican nomination.

And a Quinnipiac University public opinion survey released Wednesday is also the latest to spotlight that Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina governor, is tied with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for a distant second place behind Trump.

Trump holds the support of two-thirds (67%) of Republican and GOP-leaning voters questioned in the poll, with Haley and DeSantis each drawing 11% support. 

Multimillionaire entrepreneur and first-time candidate Vivek Ramaswamy grabs the backing of 4%, with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s making his second presidential bid, at 3%.

Trump’s support is the highest in Quinnipiac polling this cycle, as is Haley’s, with DeSantis reaching a new low.

‘DeSantis continues his yearlong slide. Haley gains momentum. The battle for second place heats up, but it’s unlikely it will send a holiday chill through MAGA world,’ Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy emphasized.

The Quinnipiac poll, conducted Dec. 14-18, is in line with other national polls in the Republican nomination race also released in recent days. Among those surveys is a Fox News poll conducted Dec. 10-13 that indicated Trump at 62% support, DeSantis at 12% and Haley at 9%.

A New York Times/Siena College survey in the field Dec. 10-14 put Trump at 64%, Haley at 11% and DeSantis at 9%.

Trump made history earlier this year as the first former or current president to be indicted for a crime, but his four indictments, including charges he tried to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss, have only fueled his support among Republican voters.

DeSantis for months was solidly in second place in the GOP nomination race, but his numbers have slipped recently.

Haley has enjoyed plenty of momentum in the polls this autumn, thanks in part to well-received performances in the first three Republican presidential primary debates. She leapfrogged DeSantis for second place in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and votes second after Iowa. And she’s in second place in her home state, another crucial early voting state that holds the first southern contest.

Haley is also working to make a fight of it in Iowa, whose Jan. 15 caucuses lead off the GOP nominating calendar, as she pulled closer to DeSantis.

The new Quinnipiac national poll is the latest to indicate that Trump voters are much more firmly set on their choice for the nomination, compared to those backing other Republican contenders. Only 37% of Trump supporters said they may change their mind. That percentage soars to 82% for those supporting Trump’s rivals.

In the 2024 Democratic primary, President Biden stands at 75% support, with author Marianne Williamson, who is making her second straight White House run, at 13% and Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota at 5%.

In a likely general election matchup next November, the poll puts Biden at 47% and Trump at 46%, a virtual tie.

But when the November 2024 field expands to include third-party and independent candidates, Trump gains a slight edge over the president.

The poll indicates Trump at 38% and Biden at 36%, with environmental activist and high-profile vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a scion of arguably the nation’s most famous family political dynasty, at 16%. Progressive university scholar Cornell West stands at 3%, along with Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Kennedy and West face uphill climbs to obtain ballot access in states across the country.

The Quinnipiac poll is the latest to find Biden’s approval rating below 40%. He stands at 38% approval and 58% disapproval, basically unchanged from a month ago.

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