Republican support for former President Donald Trump has significantly faded, according to a new USAToday/Suffolk University poll that found GOP voters prefer Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over Trump by double-digit margins, indicating Trump’s mounting controversies appear to have taken a toll on his political future.
More than half of GOP voters polled, 56%, prefer DeSantis over Trump (33%) for president in 2024, and while 65% of Republicans polled want DeSantis to run, only 31% want the former president to run for a third time.
Support for Trump has dipped significantly since the last USA Today/Suffolk University poll taken in October that found 56% of Republicans wanted Trump to run again.
Trump’s favorability rating among Republicans has also plummeted to 64%, compared to 75% in October, the poll found.
Trump also trails President Joe Biden in a hypothetical matchup: 40% to 47% among all voters, but 47% of voters prefer DeSantis over Biden (43%).
The poll of 1,000 registered voters, including 374 Republicans and independents who lean Republican, was taken from Wednesday through Sunday and has a margin of error of 3.1 points.
40%. That’s Trump’s average favorability rating, according to FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker that shows support for the former president has dipped about 2 points since October.
Since announcing he would run for president for a third time on November 15, some of his one-time allies have distanced themselves from the former president amid a series of controversies. Prominent GOP members, including former House Speaker Paul Ryan, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), have blamed Trump for the party’s worse-than-expected performance during the midterm election, when many Trump-endorsed candidates lost. Trump faced fresh rounds of Republican criticism after hosting white supremacist Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanye West for dinner at Mar-A-Lago in November and again when he suggested parts of the Constitution he blamed for his 2020 election loss should be abolished. His legal woes are also piling up. The Trump Organization was convicted of tax fraud earlier this month. And the Manhattan District Attorney’s office has reportedly turned the focus of its criminal investigation into Trump on payments he made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for silence about their alleged affair. The Justice Department is also investigating Trump for his handling of classified documents and his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election—both of which were referred to a special counsel after Trump announced his 2024 bid.
What To Watch For
Whether the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riots will recommend criminal charges against Trump to the Justice Department. The committee is expected to issue a final report on its findings later this month and has expressed plans to make criminal referrals, though it has not disclosed who the subjects of those referrals will be.