Republican voters say former President Donald Trump is the party’s strongest candidate in a 2024 contest with President Joe Biden, according to a Monmouth University poll.
The poll, released on Tuesday (May 30), was conducted between May 18 and May 24 by phone and online survey and included 655 registered voters who identify as Republican or Republican-learning.
Forty-five percent of participants said Trump was definitely the strongest candidate to take on Biden, while 18 percent said he was probably the strongest candidate.
In a matchup with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 56 percent of respondents favored Trump compared to 35 percent who favored DeSantis.
In February, the roles were reversed.
Fifty-three percent favored DeSantis, and 40 percent favored Trump.
In March, Trump had a narrow one percentage point lead (47 percent to 46%) over DeSantis.
The poll, which has a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percentage points, was conducted before DeSantis formally filed for the Republican nomination on Wednesday.
Patrick Murray, Monmouth University Polling Institute’s Director, highlighted that other Republican Candidates would “hit a brick wall” if their only argument to “voters who support Trump is he cannot win.”
He added that even if DeSantis could persuade those who think Trump is only “probably” the strongest candidate, he still wouldn’t “capture enough of the Republican electorate to overcome Trump’s hardcore base support.”
Trump’s approval rating among respondents rose to 77 percent, up six percentage points from March and three percentage points in February. Only 17 percent viewed him negatively, compared to 21 percent in March.
DeSantis was approved by 73 percent of those surveyed, but his approval rating has decreased from 80 percent in February and 76 percent in March.
His unfavorable rating rose to 12 percent in the most recent poll, from 8 percent in March and 6 percent in February.