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12 Dec, 2023 14:52

Trump holds dominant lead over Republican election rivals – poll

The former president is a full 50 percentage points ahead of his nearest rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, a poll shows
Trump holds dominant lead over Republican election rivals – poll

Donald Trump is firmly on course to secure the Republican nomination for US president ahead of next year’s election, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has shown. The survey indicates that prospective voters have little concern that his mounting legal issues could obstruct a possible return to the White House.

Trump is the candidate favored by 61% of self-identified Republican voters, the survey of nearly 1,700 people published on Monday found. He maintains a huge advantage over the chasing field less than a year out from the presidential election.

The legally embattled, 77-year-old former president is a full 50 percentage points ahead of nearest rivals Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, who both trail in Trump’s wake with just 11%. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie polled at 5% and 2% respectively, the poll says.

The results reflect little appetite in Republican voting ranks for the field of candidates who have participated in four primary debates so far. Trump has not, as yet, appeared on the debating circuit.

The survey also shows that GOP supporters have maintained enthusiasm for a second Trump term in the White House in spite of a catalogue of federal and state charges over a range of alleged improprieties. These include ongoing claims that Trump illegally sought to overturn the results of his 2020 presidential election defeat to Joe Biden.

Trump also faces other charges, including those related to his alleged illegal retention of sensitive national security documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. He is also accused of obstructing government attempts to retrieve them. He denies all claims of illegality.

According to the Reuters/Ipsos survey, less than 25% of Republican voters polled said they believed that Trump had solicited election fraud, or that he was involved in convincing his supporters to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. These issues are both central to a federal criminal case expected to go to trial in the midst of Trump’s election campaign.

A separate poll, the results of which were published by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, showed that Trump has established a lead over Joe Biden in a still-hypothetical head-to-head race. 47% of respondents said they would cast a vote for Trump, compared to 43% for Biden.

However, that same poll reflected that a felony conviction for Trump would dramatically affect the race and hand Biden a one percentage point advantage.