Former President Trump Expands Lead in Iowa Caucus Poll
According to the latest NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll, former President Donald Trump has significantly increased his lead over his GOP rivals in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. With just five weeks left until the first Republican nominating contest in Iowa, Trump now enjoys 51% first-choice support from likely caucusgoers.
Trump’s commanding lead, the largest ever recorded in this poll so close to a competitive Republican caucus, is driven by strong support from evangelical and first-time caucusgoers. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of Republicans believe Trump can defeat President Joe Biden next year, despite the legal challenges he currently faces.
The poll also reveals that Trump has a higher level of enthusiasm and commitment from his supporters compared to his rivals. One respondent, Timothy Blackerby, expressed unwavering support for Trump, stating, “It doesn’t matter what they say, it doesn’t matter what they do. Because automatically, my vote is going to Trump no matter what.”
While Trump’s lead seems formidable, the poll shows that a significant portion of caucusgoers are still open to considering other candidates. Both Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley are being actively considered by Iowa voters, despite Trump’s strong position.
Iowa pollster J. Ann Selzer, who has been conducting this survey for three decades, acknowledges the unpredictability of the Iowa caucuses. She highlights the example of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s surprise win in the 2012 GOP contest and cautions that anything can happen in this race.
According to the poll, Trump receives 51% of first-choice support from likely Republican caucusgoers, followed by DeSantis with 19%, and Haley with 16%. Trump’s 32-point lead over his nearest competitor is an increase from the previous poll conducted in October, where he led by 27 points.
Trump’s stronghold lies in his support from key demographic groups, including evangelical Christians, self-identified Republicans, first-time caucusgoers, and white men without college degrees. However, he still leads among likely caucusgoers who hold college degrees, independents, and suburban residents, albeit by narrower margins.
Importance of the Iowa Caucuses
Although winning the Iowa caucuses does not guarantee the GOP presidential nomination, it holds significant importance this year. Trump’s rivals see it as a crucial opportunity to prevent him from gaining momentum and dominating the rest of the 2024 primary.
DeSantis and Haley Still in the Running
Despite Trump’s significant lead, a considerable portion of likely caucusgoers are still considering Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley as alternatives. DeSantis is the second choice for 30% of respondents, while 18% actively consider him. Similarly, Haley is the second choice for 17%, with an additional 19% actively considering her.
About the Poll
The NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll of Iowa is conducted by Iowa-based pollster J. Ann Selzer and her firm, Selzer & Co. The poll utilizes a call center to interview randomly selected voters from the Iowa secretary of state’s voter registration list. The survey focuses on 502 registered voters who are likely to participate in the 2024 Republican caucuses. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
Nearly half (49%) of likely Republican caucusgoers say their minds are already made up, indicating a higher level of certainty compared to previous polls. Trump’s supporters display the highest level of loyalty, with 70% stating their minds are already made up. However, 46% of respondents say they are still open to changing their minds.
Belief in Trump’s Electability
A remarkable 73% of likely caucusgoers believe that Trump can win a general election against President Joe Biden, despite the legal challenges he currently faces. This number has increased from 65% in October. Only 24% think that Trump’s legal challenges make it nearly impossible for him to defeat Biden, down from 32% two months ago.
Overall, the poll provides insights into the current landscape of the Iowa Republican caucuses, highlighting Trump’s significant lead, but also recognizing the potential for unexpected developments and the openness of voters to consider alternative candidates.
Read More of this Story at www.nbcnews.com – 2023-12-11 11:00:40
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