The poll published on Tuesday shows that 56 percent of potential Republican primary voters back Trump for the nomination. He sits 34 points ahead of DeSantis, who has not announced a White House bid, at 22 percent. DeSantis has gained slightly compared to last week’s poll, which had him and the 45th president at 24 percent and 58 percent, respectively.
Beyond Trump and DeSantis, no other candidate commands double-digit support. Seven percent of respondents back former Vice President Mike Pence, followed by former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) in fourth place with four percent. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswmy is backed by three percent of the respondents, followed by former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) at two percent.
Govs. Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Kristi Noem (R-SD) tie at two percent, while Gov. Glen Youngkin (R-VA), who has declared he will not run, and former Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) did not secure one percent of support.
Morning Consult also asked Trump and DeSantis supporters who their second choice would be. They both took strong pluralities of one another’s voters, with 44 percent of Trump backers identifying DeSantis as their second option and 42 percent of DeSantis supporters saying they would back Trump if the governor does not run.
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Another 17 percent of Trump voters view Pence as their second choice, and seven percent would back Ramaswamy as a contingency plan. Regarding DeSantis supporters, Haley takes the second largest share after the 45th president at 16 percent, followed by Pence at 14 percent and Ramaswamy at seven percent.
The pollster also gauged hypothetical general election match-ups between the leading Republicans and President Joe Biden, showing both GOP candidates two points back of the president. Trump trails by a margin of 44 percent to 42 percent, while Biden leads DeSantis 43 percent to 41 percent.
Morning Consult sampled roughly 6,000 registered voters, including “3,389 likely potential GOP primary voters,” between April 28-30. The unweighted margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus one percentage point, while it is plus or minus one to two percentage points for the GOP primary aspect of the poll.