According to recent reports, former President Donald Trump has jumped ahead in a 2024 GOP primary state, while other Republican challengers struggle to keep up. Donald Trump won the state of South Carolina in 2016 by 10 points, but the former president looks to be positioned to far exceed that margin.
Fox Business reported on a poll that determined Trump has a 34-point lead in South Carolina, where over half of participants believe he is the best candidate to remove Joe Bide from the White House. According to the poll, approximately 48 percent of Republican primary voters will be backing Donald Trump in 2024.
Furthermore, it was discovered that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is far behind the former president sitting at 14 percent. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sits at 13 percent, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is at 10 percent. No other candidates have double-digit support.
“Even though it’s still early, Trump is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in this race,” commented Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducted the poll with Chris Anderson. “The initial challenge is to see who can become the non-Trump candidate, and in South Carolina that’s currently a three-way race among DeSantis, Haley, and Scott.”
Fox Business also reported that Trump finds his strongest support from groups identifying as very conservative (57%), voters under the age of 45 (55%), voters with a college degree (53%), voters living in rural areas (52%), and White evangelicals (51%).
DeSantis and Trump share support from similar groups of supporters who fall into the “very conservative” bucket, while Haley and Scott find more support from moderate South Carolinians. According to supporters of Trump, they would mostly pick DeSantis as a second-choice candidate, followed by the others.
However, Trump still holds a substantial lead over DeSantis and other candidates, leading among measures of electability and shared views by over 40 points. According to the report, 51 percent of South Carolina GOP primary feel that former President Trump has the best chance to beat Joe Biden in the upcoming 2024 election.
The American Tribune recently reported on Donald Trump dominating the primary battle in a “truly unprecedented” fashion, unlike any political figure in modern history. The article argued there is no parallel to Trump as his support from his base is undeterred among the indictments, chaotic 2020 election, and other political controversies.
Kyle Kondik, managing editor for Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics and a non-partisan polling analyst, said, “This GOP primary is truly unprecedented because Trump is not technically an incumbent, but Republican voters seem to be treating him as at least a quasi-incumbent. This primary is similar to 2016 in the sense that the field is large, meaning that it’ll be hard for a non-Trump to consolidate the non-Trump supporters.”
Kondik has even claimed that the punitive tactics against Trump have backfired and increased support for the former president. He stated, “With the New York charges in particular being seen as politically motivated and questionable legally — with a very different context than holding top secret documents in an unsecure location — the Republicans who might have been ready to move on to a fresh face have at least for now rallied back to the former president.”
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