Former President Donald Trump has opened a 34-point lead over his nearest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, according to a new CNN poll.
Trump receives 52% support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters, with DeSantis getting 18%, the CNN poll found.
DeSantis’ support has fallen 8 points since June.
The CNN survey found that DeSantis is followed by former Vice President Mike Pence and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, each with 7% support, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy (6%), South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (3%), former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (2%), and the rest of the tested field stands at 1% or less.
Survey results also showed that Trump is seen as the best candidate able to handle a wide range of issues, CNN reported.
Among GOP-leaning voters, 43% are definite Trump backers, 20% are firmly behind another candidate, and 37% have no first choice or say they could change their minds, the CNN poll found.
A total of 63% says Trump is one of their top two choices, and 61% say they think he’s extremely or very likely to become the GOP nominee. That’s up 9 points at the start of the summer.
Trump also is up 5 points overall as voters’ first choice.
Most respondents said the criminal charges Trump faces in four separate cases are not relevant to his ability to serve as president.
Among GOP-leaning voters, 70% say charges related to hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels are not relevant to his fitness for the presidency. A total of 64% each say the same about charges related to classified documents, efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and related to the Jan 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Most (61%) say that Trump faces the numerous criminal charges largely because of political abuse of the justice system.
A majority of GOP-aligned voters are not very concerned about the impact the charges could have on Trump’s electability, CNN reported.
A total of 44% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are seriously concerned that the criminal charges Trump faces will negatively affect his ability to win the 2024 election if he becomes the GOP nominee while 56% is not seriously concerned about that.
Only 34% of those who back Trump have those concerns.
Roughly one in five Republican-aligned voters say they would not support Trump in the primary under any circumstances, CNN reported. A total of 16% say the charges he faces related to Jan. 6 are disqualifying, if true.
The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS Aug. 25-31, days after the first Republican presidential debate, among a random national sample of 1,503 adults, including 784 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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