Trump holds ‘clear edge’ over 2024 Republican contenders, poll finds

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With no official word yet from former President Donald Trump on whether he will be running for another term in 2024, a new poll shows he is leaving the competition in the dust.

According to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, Trump clearly comes out on top in a potential eight-person Republican presidential primary, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis coming up as a GOP favorite to score the nomination if the former president chooses not to take another shot at the White House.

Trump “holds a clear edge, garnering 57 percent support among Republican voters,” The Hill reported. “DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence are nearly deadlocked at 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively. No other would-be candidate tested in the poll registers double-digit support.”

The outlet noted that the poll results indicate that Florida’s popular GOP governor “scores 30 percent support in a field that doesn’t include Trump, while Pence takes second place at 24 percent.”

The poll also showed that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who ran against Trump in the 2016 primary race, scored 14 percent support.

Trump and DeSantis have been close political allies and the former president dismissed rumors of tension between them as “fake news” during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, saying he has “a very good relationship with Ron and intend to have it for a long time.”

The same Harvard CAPS/Harris poll shared with The Hill showed that Trump leads over President Biden 46 percent to 40 percent in another hypothetical contest between them, and the former president garnered 49 percent support against Vice President Kamala Harris’s 39 percent.

“It’s way too early to make predictions about 2024 as early polls usually end up not being a good predictor of what happens,” Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, told The Hill.

“Trump is starting out in a fairly strong position with Republicans while Biden and Harris have surprisingly little support among Democrats for incumbents. Trump is also starting out reasonably well positioned for the general but he seems to be benefiting by being out of the limelight and no telling what would happen if he steps back in,” Penn added.

The poll was conducted by the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll from Jan. 19-20 and surveyed 1,815 registered voters.

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