A majority of 56 percent of registered voters who are Republicans or lean Republican back Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, the poll shows. Trump has netted nine percent of support since Quinnipiac’s March poll.
DeSantis, who announced his candidacy on Wednesday during a conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk, has the support of one in four poll participants. He has slid eight points from two months ago, when his support registered at 33 percent. The change since March marks a 17-point swing toward Trump and away from DeSantis.
No other candidate comes close to double digits in the latest poll.
“The first one out of the gate, in what for now still looks like a two-horse race, is moving at full gallop away from a slowly growing pack of contenders,” said Tim Malloy, a polling analyst at Quinnipiac University.
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Former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) sits in third place with three percent of the response. A three-way tie follows, with former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen Tim Scott (R-SC), and former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) all at two percent.
Gridlocked at one percent are Govs. Kristi Noem (R-SD), Chris Sununu (R-NH), Glenn Yougkin (R-VA), entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, conservative radio host Larry Elder, and former Rep Liz Cheney (R-WY).
When the field is condensed to a two-way race between the top-performing GOP candidates, Trump’s support grows to 61 percent, while DeSantis’s climbs to 32 percent.
The Republican primary aspects of the survey included 669 respondents, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
The poll also gauged how DeSantis and Trump would fare in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups with President Joe Biden among “1,616 self-reported registered voters” of all political persuasions. Trump trails Biden by two points, with 46 percent of the vote to 48 percent. DeSantis holds a razor-thin advantage over the president at 47 percent to 46 percent. Both races fall within the 2.4 percent margin of error in this portion of the poll.
The poll was conducted between May 18-22.
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