Donald Trump has lost some support from Republican voters but is still the overwhelming favorite to clinch the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, according to a poll.
An I&I/TIPP poll, taken September 27-29 among 584 registered Republicans and independents who lean Republican, found that the former president has an overwhelming lead in the GOP primary race at 54 percent, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis second on 13 percent and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy in third place on seven percent.
Compared to the previous survey released last month, Trump dropped six points (from 60 percent), with DeSantis seeing a slight two-point increase in support between the two polls.
Despite the drop in support in the latest poll, a majority (56 percent) of Republicans still believes Trump has the best chance to beat President Joe Biden at the 2024 presidential election.
In his analysis of the poll results, Terry Jones, editor of Issues & Insights, suggested that the only way Trump wouldn’t win the 2024 GOP nomination is if he is jailed in any of the criminal investigations he is involved in. Trump has pleaded not guilty to a total of 91 charges across the four separate federal and state cases.
“Trump is still way ahead, and seems safe from challengers. At least for now,” Jones wrote.
“Let him be imprisoned for any of the alleged crimes that he’s charged with, and there might well be a different story. Still, Trump is far and away the best hope the GOP has.”
The poll also suggests that a hypothetical 2024 matchup between Biden and Trump is currently a dead heat, with both potential candidates getting 42 percent in an expanded I&I/TIPP poll of 1,262 registered voters.
Elsewhere, Biden’s poll numbers among likely Democratic voters also fell between the September and October surveys, with the president dipping from 38 percent to 34 percent. Many of the Democrats polled back people who are not declared candidates like former First Lady Michelle Obama or Vice President Kamala Harris.
The poll also shows that no single major demographic or political group gives Biden more than 50 percent support, with Jones suggesting that the president “could be in a precarious position, especially from an aggressive intra-party challenger among the Democrats, or from a third-party challenge that siphons votes from Biden.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the only candidate who represented anything close to a serious challenge to Biden in the 2024 Democratic primary, recently confirmed he would be dropping out of the primary to run for president as an independent.
However, it doesn’t seem likely that any other potential major challenger, such as California Governor Gavin Newsom, will try to stop Biden being the party’s nominee next year.
“It’s still most likely to come down to Biden and Trump, barring Biden’s impeachment or Trump’s imprisonment,” Jones said. “Even after October’s dip in support for Biden and Trump, the numbers for the current challengers to win just aren’t there.”