Former President Donald Trump has opened up a 36% lead on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a new 2024 Republican presidential poll even as he fends off growing legal problems.
The survey puts Trump’s support at 58% of GOP voters compared to just 22% for DeSantis, who has faded badly in recent months.
Republican voters are rallying behind Trump as he battles a historic indictment tied to hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels and a civil rape trial over allegations by writer E. Jean Carroll.
Along with those who favor Trump, an additional 18% are considering backing the former president as the race starts to unfold.
The CBS News/YouGov poll of 2,372 voters makes it clear that Trump has consolidated his position as the overwhelming favorite in the GOP race to take on President Joe Biden.
Trump has reportedly vowed to skip one or more of the first two planned GOP debates because he is so far out in front of the pack.
As Trump surges, DeSantis has been put on his heels by his damaging feud with Disney and other perceived stumbles.
The Florida governor, who won reelection last year in a landslide, has not yet announced his candidacy.
Even as DeSantis falters, he remains the strong choice of the about 1 in 4 minority of GOP voters who definitely do not support Trump.
His 22% marks a commanding lead over former Vice President Mike Pence with 5%. Pence, who broke with Trump over the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, is also mulling a run.
Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who won headlines for a recent on-air spat with former CNN anchor Don Lemon, has made a surprisingly strong run and is just behind Pence with 5%.
Other candidates are struggling to gain much traction. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has 4%, ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie garners 2% while right wing radio host Larry Elder has 2%.
Tim Scott and Asa Hutchinson clock just 1%.