Latest News 18-12-2023 00:12 10 Views

Fox News Poll: Trump’s lead in GOP primary widens

Former President Donald Trump keeps gaining ground in the Republican presidential nomination contest, as fewer than one third of GOP primary voters now back all his rivals combined, according to the latest Fox News survey.

Trump's support stands at 69% in the primary race. That's up 7 points since November and fully 26 points since February.

Ron DeSantis receives 12% support (down 1 point since November), Nikki Haley gets 9% (-1), Vivek Ramaswamy 5% (-2), Chris Christie 2% (-1), and Asa Hutchinson 1% (steady).  

When asked their second choice, the top picks among Trump supporters are DeSantis 50%, Ramaswamy 20%, and Haley 14%.  

In hypothetical general election matchups against President Joe Biden, Haley is ahead by 6 points, while Trump is up by 4 (neither advantage is statistically significant). DeSantis and Biden tie. As recently as August, Biden was narrowly ahead of all three of them.

In the head-to-head against Haley, 83% of 2020 Biden voters stick with him, but 14% switch to her. In a matchup against Trump, just 5% of Biden's 2020 voters defect.

'Haley appears to have the broadest support of any Republican candidate and may be in the best position to take on Biden,' says Republican Daron Shaw, who partners with Democrat Chris Anderson on the Fox News Poll. 'But the simple fact is most Republicans currently prefer Trump, so the stakes in the early contests are high. She needs to beat DeSantis in Iowa and finish a strong second in New Hampshire to shake up the race.'

When third-party candidates are included, Trump’s edge over the president remains at 4 points, with Biden getting 37% to Trump’s 41%.  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. gets 14%, Jill Stein 3%, and Cornel West 2%.  That’s mostly unchanged since last month.

Equal numbers of voters plan to participate in the Democratic and Republican primaries (4 in 10 each), and those saying they are extremely interested in the 2024 election are also balanced between the parties (6 in 10 each). 

A 54% majority of Democratic primary voters would like someone else as their party’s nominee, while 43% want to keep Biden.  

Among all voters, 41% have a favorable opinion of Biden as a person, while 58% percent view him unfavorably, putting him in negative territory by 17 points.  

Trump does better, yet he’s still underwater by 10 points (45%-55%). The ratings are worse for Christie (-29 points), Ramaswamy (-22), DeSantis (-19), and Haley (-13).  Plus, for Ramaswamy (32%) and Haley (23%) many voters are either unfamiliar with them or have no opinion. 

Trump is viewed positively by 85% of Republicans, far outdistancing DeSantis (66%), Haley (44%), Ramaswamy (37%), and Christie (27%).  For comparison, 79% of Democrats view Biden favorably.

Since September, Ramaswamy's favorable rating is down 22 points among Republicans and 12 points among all voters (and his support in the primary has dropped by half).

Congressional Republicans voted Wednesday to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden (most survey interviews were completed before that vote). 

It’s too early to say whether that action will cause any shifts, but it seems doubtful. Voters remain divided: 49% think impeachment is a legitimate action on a serious matter vs. 48% saying it’s a bogus attempt to undermine Biden’s presidency, mostly unchanged since September.

The number of Democrats (80%) saying it's bogus is matched by an equal share of Republicans (81%) who think it's legitimate.

A majority of Republicans (67%) think Biden did something illegal related to his son Hunter’s business dealings, while over half of Democrats think the president didn’t do anything wrong (59%). Independents narrowly see the impeachment as legitimate and one third believe the president broke the law.

Overall, 38% of voters think the president did something illegal related to Hunter’s business, 27% say unethical, and 32% say nothing wrong. Those numbers have barely moved all year.

Two-thirds feel Hunter Biden is being treated fairly by the legal system (66%), including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents.  

The president’s approval rating stands at 43%, up from a low of 40% last month. Biden is helped by higher-than-average approval among men and voters ages 65 and over. That appears to be driven by his handling of national security, where approval is up by 7 points among both groups.

Still, 57% disapprove of Biden’s overall job performance.  

Poll-pourri

Nearly one in five voters view both Biden and Trump negatively, and they prefer Biden in the head-to-head matchup by 8 points.  

Among 2020 Trump voters, most still support him in the GOP primary race (74%), but 12% now back DeSantis, 8% Haley, 4% Ramaswamy, and 1% Christie.

As Trump resurrects his pledge to repeal ObamaCare, a record 57% of voters have a positive view of the health care law, including over half of independents and a quarter of Republicans.

Most voters (73%), believe the U.S. president should 'always' follow the law. That’s more than three times as many as say the U.S. is so far off track that it needs a president who will 'break some laws' to set things right (22%). Twice as many 2024 Trump supporters (32%) as Biden supporters (14%) think the country needs a president who will break some laws.

At the same time, roughly equal numbers overall feel Trump (44%) and Biden (40%) pose a 'major' threat to Americans’ individual rights and freedoms.  

More Democrats see Biden as a major (11%) or minor (17%) threat, than Republicans who feel that way about Trump (6% major and 14% minor threat).

Eight in 10 Democrats think Trump is a 'major' threat, while 7 in 10 Republicans say the same of Biden. Among independents, about the same number see Biden (36%) and Trump (40%) as a 'major' threat to individual rights and freedoms.

'It’s no surprise many are dreading a 2020 rematch,' says Anderson.  'Not only do partisans strongly dislike the likely nominees of the other party, but they also think they are a major threat to their individual rights and freedoms.'

CLICK HERE FOR TOPLINE AND CROSSTABS

Conducted December 10-13, 2023, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,007 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for all registered voters, and plus or minus 4.5 points for Democratic primary voters and 5 points for Republican primary voters.

Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.


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