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Donald Trump Maintains 48-Point Lead in Republican Poll Despite Skipping Presidential Debate: Analysis of Competitors’ Performances

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Former President Donald Trump chose to forego his participation in the second Republican primary debate, an event that featured several leading candidates vying for the GOP nomination in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

Notwithstanding his absence from the debate stage for the second time in a row, Trump continues to maintain a commanding lead over his Republican competitors.

What Happened: The year 2023 has proven eventful for Trump, with numerous indictments and federal charges, as well as a busy court schedule. On Monday, Trump appeared in court to kick off a civil trial against himself and his businesses.

Despite these developments, Republican voters remain staunchly supportive of Trump, positioning him as the current front-runner for the 2024 GOP nomination, unless his opponents experience significant surges or setbacks in the future.

The latest Morning Consult poll of GOP voters indicates a slight decline in support for Trump compared to the previous week, causing his lead to narrow slightly.

Here’s a breakdown of the current voting preferences among Republican voters, along with last week’s percentages in parentheses:

  • Donald Trump: 61% (58%)
  • Ron DeSantis: 13% (15%)
  • Vivek Ramaswamy: 7% (9%)
  • Nikki Haley: 7% (7%)
  • Mike Pence: 5% (6%)
  • Chris Christie: 3% (2%)
  • Tim Scott: 1% (2%)

In the latest poll, Trump maintains a 48-point lead, marking a five-point increase from last week’s 43-point lead. Over the past six weeks, Trump has consistently held a lead of at least 43 points over his Republican rivals.

This 48-point lead represents one of Trump’s largest leads in the poll since tracking began in December.

Notably, this is the first poll conducted after the second Republican primary debate, where seven candidates took the stage without the presence of Trump. The debate was hosted by Fox Business, a subsidiary of Fox Corporation FOXFOXA and livestreamed on Rumble Inc RUM.

Viewership for the second debate decreased by 27% compared to the first debate, with a total of 9.3 million people tuning in to the television broadcast. This marked the lowest viewership figure for a primary debate out of the 14 held since Trump launched his presidential campaign in 2016.

Related Link: Donald Trump Effect: Republican Voters Believe Their Party Cares More About Them Than in 2016

Why It’s Important: The 61% support for Trump and his 48-point lead are currently among his highest ratings. This is even more significant considering his decision to once again skip a Republican primary debate.

DeSantis saw a two-percentage-point decrease in the latest poll, signaling a downward trend after months of steady improvement following a slump in his ratings.

Ramaswamy experienced a two-percentage-point drop for the second consecutive week. After reaching a high of 11% a month ago, his ratings have been steadily declining. Ramaswamy had previously maintained support in the range of 8% to 10% earlier this year.

Haley retained 7% support for a second consecutive week, tying for third place and setting a new personal record in the national poll. This is the highest support level Haley has achieved thus far, indicating a strong performance in the second debate.

Pence experienced a one-percentage-point drop and continues to rank fifth among the Republican candidates. On the other hand, Christie saw a one-percentage-point increase, moving up to 3% support.

Among voters who selected Trump as their preferred candidate, 33% chose DeSantis as their second choice, followed by Ramaswamy at 22% and Haley at 6%.

For those who initially supported DeSantis, 35% selected Trump as their second-choice candidate, with 23% choosing Haley and 17% supporting Ramaswamy. This marks a significant improvement for Haley, who was the second choice of only 18% of Trump supporters in the previous poll, with 19% favoring Ramaswamy.

Trump’s favorability rating stands at 77%, with an unfavorable rating of 21%. DeSantis, on the other hand, has a 67% favorable rating and a 20% unfavorable rating, compared to 65% and 21% respectively in last week’s poll. Ramaswamy received a favorable rating of 54% and an unfavorable rating of 21%, compared to 56% and 20% respectively in the previous poll. Haley’s favorability rating improved to 49% from 46% last week, with her unfavorable rating also decreasing from 23% to 20% in the latest poll.

When it comes to public perception, 42% of respondents indicated they had recently heard something positive about Trump, compared to 37% who had heard something negative. This is the second consecutive week, since mid-July, where more people reported hearing something positive about the former president. Haley performed well in this metric, with 30% reporting positive information and only 15% reporting negative information. However, 55% stated they had not heard anything about her.

A third debate is scheduled for November 8th, and candidates will need to have the support of at least 4% in two national polls in order to qualify. Over the next month, we may see more candidates drop out or the voter support landscape remain unchanged, unless there are major intervening events.

Read Next: Trump Decides to Skip Third Consecutive GOP Debate as He Maintains a Streak

Photo: Shutterstock

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