Trump Has Landslide Numbers in Latest Primary Poll

Former president at 62% to DeSantis' 16% in new CBS poll
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2023 6:17 AM CDT
62%-16%: The Ever-Widening Gap for DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 12, 2023, in Des Moines.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

When former President Trump confirmed on Sunday that he would be skipping this week's Republican debate, he cited a new CBS News poll reaffirming that he has a big lead in the race. Trump was not exaggerating the point. His lead over the Republican challengers has only grown as his legal troubles have expanded:

  • Not a close second: Trump is at 62%, with Ron DeSantis in second at 16%.
  • The others: Everyone else is in single digits; Vivek Ramaswamy (7%), Mike Pence (5%), Tim Scott (3%), Nikki Haley (3%), Chris Christie (2%), Doug Burgum (1%), and Asa Hutchinson (1%).

  • Back off: A whopping 91% of respondents in the poll of likely GOP voters say the non-Trump candidates should not attack the former president in Wednesday's debate and instead focus on making the case for themselves.
  • Belief: 77% say the best explanation of the most recent indictment of Trump—allegations that he attempted to illegally overturn election results in Georgia—is that it is "politically motivated." Only 8% think the claim is true, and the rest think it's a little bit of both.
  • Biden: Most GOP voters say Trump has the best chance to unseat President Biden. Trump at 61% is followed by DeSantis (35%), Scott (20%), Ramaswamy (18%), Haley (14%), and Pence (14%).
  • Not so fast: The Atlantic takes note of a different survey suggesting that Trump's legal troubles might yet cost him support among Republican voters. The premise is that the standard way most polls ask the question leads to answers biased in Trump's favor.
(More Election 2024 stories.)

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