Harvard Poll: Trump Leads 45-Points Over Closest Rival, DeSantis, for '24

Harvard Poll: Trump Leads 45-Points Over Closest Rival, DeSantis, for '24

























President Donald Trump speaks with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis 
during an event at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center on 
October 03, 2019.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Another poll shows former President Donald Trump is a runaway favorite for the 2024 Republican nomination with 57% support, a 45-point lead on Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was a distant second at 12% in the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris poll provided exclusively to The Hill.

In a hypothetical eight-Republican field, Trump is in a "strong position" long before he makes his post-2022 midterms intentions official, according to the pollster.

"It's way too early to make predictions about 2024 as early polls usually end up not being a good predictor of what happens," Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, told The Hill.

"Trump is starting out in a fairly strong position with Republicans, while Biden and Harris have surprisingly little support among Democrats for incumbents. Trump is also starting out reasonably well positioned for the general, but he seems to be benefiting by being out of the limelight and no telling what would happen if he steps back in."

The GOP frontrunnners in the poll:

  1. Trump 57%.
  2. DeSantis 12%
  3. Former Vice President Mike Pence 11%.

None of the other five in the poll, which were not named in The Hill's exclusive report, received double digits. They shared just 20% of the remainder of the registered Republican voters polled.

In a poll without Trump, in the event he decides not to run, DeSantis was a clear leader:

  1. DeSantis 30%.
  2. Pence 24%.
  3. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, 14%.

The media has sought to divide Trump and DeSantis, but Trump refuted the claims of a rift between the top GOP candidates as "totally fake news" in an interview last week.

The poll also found the Republican Party well-positioned in the 2024 presidential election. Trump topped President Joe Biden by 6 points (46%-40%) in a hypothetical rematch.

Trump had an even wider, 10-point edge in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup with Vice President Kamala Harris. The poll had Trump at a near majority of 49% to just 39% for Harris.

DeSantis had just a 1-point edge on Harris (40%-39%), while 21% were undecided, according to the report.

A hypothetical Democrat 2024 president primary was far closer. Biden received 32% to Harris' 14%, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Hillary Clinton were both tied at 11%.

If Biden were to decline to run – and the White House and the incumbent has maintained he intends to – Harris is a narrow favorite among registered Democrats. Harris gets 23% support, while Clinton is second at 17% and Sanders was third at 12%.

The Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll surveyed 1,815 registered voters Jan. 19-20. No margin of error nor totals on Republican versus Democrat registered voters were provided by The Hill's exclusive report on the poll results

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