Trump expands lead in GOP presidential primary race: survey

·2 min read

Former President Trump has expanded his lead in the GOP presidential primary race, with a 30-point advantage among Republican primary voters over his closest potential challenger, according to a new poll.

The Fox News poll showed that Trump received 54 percent support, compared to 24 percent for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). Trump’s margin is double the 15-point lead that he had in Fox’s poll last month.

The new poll also found former Vice President Mike Pence came in third with 6 percent, former Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tied with 3 percent each and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott received support from 2 percent of GOP primary voters. The remaining candidates received 1 percent of support or less, while 3 percent of respondents said they were not sure which proposed candidate they would choose.

Trump and Haley have officially launched their bids for the White House, while most of the others included in the poll have not but are rumored to be possible candidates.

Pollsters found Trump improved his standing from last month’s poll among almost every major demographic except for white men with college degrees, which DeSantis leads by 12 points.

Six in 10 voters who backed Trump during the 2020 presidential election said they would prefer him in 2024, while a quarter said they support DeSantis, and 5 percent support Pence.

The latest poll comes as Trump could potentially be charged in a Manhattan investigation into a hush money payment that was made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election for her to remain quiet about an alleged affair she had with Trump.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) is believed to be close to deciding whether to issue charges, as he invited Trump to testify before a grand jury earlier this month, which is often an indication that a charging decision is near for the subject of the investigation. The grand jury is expected to take a previously scheduled hiatus until late April.

Daron Shaw, a Republican pollster who conducts Fox News surveys with Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, said the potential of Trump being indicted in the probe has helped him “quite a bit” among Republican primary voters.

“They view the case as politically motivated and it reanimates feelings that Trump is still fighting forces they see as corrupt and out of control,” Shaw said.

The poll released late Wednesday found almost three-quarters of primary voters said a candidate sharing their views on the issues is more important to determining their presidential primary vote, while only 18 percent said their ability to win in November is more important.

The survey was conducted from March 24 to 27 among 1,007 registered voters. The margin of error was 3 percentage points, and the margin of error for Republican primary voters was 4.5 points.

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