A surprising new poll from Republican stronghold Utah signals trouble ahead for Donald Trump - with voters favouring Liz Cheney over the former president for 2024.
According to a recent poll, Republican voters in Utah - who overwhelmingly supported Mr Trump in both 2016 and 2020 - are beginning to pin their hopes on two of his most avowed rivals: outgoing Wisconsin Rep Cheney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
In the poll by Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics, Republican respondents had the one-term president finishing third among a field of potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates, a result that has been echoed in recent surveys of both Democratic and Republican voters, showing the hold that the “Make America Great Again” president has on the GOP might indeed be slipping.
In the poll, Rep Cheney, who has built her brand of politics over the last few years around taking swipes at the twice impeached president for his conduct inside and outside the Oval Office, placed second as she picked up 16.4 per cent support from Utah GOP primary voters.
Gov DeSantis, a likely challenger for Mr Trump on the GOP ticket in 2024, came in first with 24.2 per cent – nearly double the support that the one-term president had among Utahns, as it found that if the Republican presidential primary were held today, only 14.4 per cent would cast their ballot for Mr Trump.
More damning than that, however, was the result from the survey which found that overall, around six out of 10 Utahns have an unfavourable impression of the former president, with those favourability scores ticking up only slightly for registered Republican voters.
Mr Trump announced his candidacy for the White House for a third time last month from his home in Mar-a-Lago. That announcement came with great pomp and circumstance out the Trump camp but was largely overshadowed by the failure of a so-called “red wave” to materialise during the November midterms, a poor showing that some of his GOP peers believed he was, at least in part, responsible for.
Indeed, a poll released by WPA Intelligence last week, which polled 1,160 registered voters in America, confirmed as much when it found that a full 64 per cent of all voters — including 60 per cent of those who voted for Republicans last month — blame the ex-president for the poor showing by GOP candidates in the midterms. Among voters who said they split their tickets by voting for a GOP governor and a Democratic senatorial candidate (or visa-versa), Mr Trump’s favourability rating is an extremely low -64 per cent.
The signifiers from that poll last week also hint that Mr Trump’s favourability with old school Republicans may be fading, as nearly a full third of voters who turned out for Republican candidates last month view him unfavourably now, which includes 33 per cent of self-described “Reagan Republicans” or “Traditional Republicans” as well as 34 per cent of Fox News viewers.
Of those self-described “traditional” or “Reagan” GOP voters, about half said it’s time for Mr Trump to stand down as de facto leader of the GOP. Among all Republican voters, that number is slightly fewer at 40 per cent, but it still represents a significant number of GOP voters and the most opposed to Mr Trump since he won the presidency in 2016.
Other names that have been thrown in the hat for a potential run on the Republican ticket in 2024 who ranked in the Deseret News poll include the ex-president’s former running mate, Mike Pence, who polled at 6 per cent with Republican voters alongside Texas Sen Ted Cruz. Former UN
Ambassador Nikki Haley came in at 3.7 per cent, while 20.7 per cent of respondents said they didn’t know who they would vote for and 8.5 per cent would choose another candidate.