Donald Trump leads 2024 polls with Ron DeSantis in distant second

Mr Trump holds leads over President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in a hypothetical rematch as well

Andrew Feinberg
Tuesday 25 January 2022 15:05 GMT
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Just over a year after a mob of his supporters stormed the US Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying his successor's 2020 election victory, a clear majority of Republican voters want to give former president Donald Trump another four years in the White House.

According to a new Harvard/Harris poll, Mr Trump would garner support from 57 per cent of GOP primary voters in a primary matchup, with Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former vice president Mike Pence far behind at 12 and 11 per cent, respectively.

The poll results, which were first reported by The Hill, are yet another indicator that Mr Trump's tumultuous four years in the White House – which ended with Republicans losing the presidency, House and Senate – haven't dulled enthusiasm for the ex-reality TV star in GOP circles.

Mr Trump has not yet formally announced plans to mount a third campaign for the presidency, but he is reportedly mulling the matter over because a run for the White House would potentially help in his efforts to keep law enforcement investigations into his eponymous real estate business and other matters at arm's length.

But if he ultimately decides to bow out of presidential politics, it is Mr DeSantis and Mr Pence who would be thrown into a knock-down, drag-out primary fight to succeed him as the GOP standard-bearer.

Florida Gov ROn DeSantis
Florida Gov ROn DeSantis (AP)

When poll respondents were asked who they would support in Mr Trump's absence, Mr DeSantis would have a six-point lead over Mr Pence, garnering 30 per cent of support to the ex-veep's 24 per cent, with Texas senator Ted Cruz rounding out the field at 14 per cent.

Yet 30 per cent may be all Mr DeSantis would need, particularly if the Trump-less GOP primary field is crowded.

Because of the way Republicans choose their presidential nominees, a candidate need only win a plurality of primary votes to win all of a given state's delegates.

Though most potential GOP presidential hopefuls have openly declared they would not stand in Mr Trump's way should he decide to run, Mr DeSantis has not.

According to multiple reports, the former president has bristled at what he sees as insufficient subservience from Mr DeSantis, who he elevated to the governor's mansion by endorsing him in the 2018 gubernatorial GOP primary.

The former president denied any tensions in a recent interview on Fox News' Hannity, telling host Sean Hannity that he has "a very good relationship" with DeSantis.

If Mr Trump does run, the poll found he currently holds a 46-40 per cent lead in a rematch with President Joe Biden and a 49 per cent to 39 per cent advantage if Vice President Kamala Harris is the Democratic nominee.

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