Poll: ‘Trump’s Lead Unshaken’ Despite Debate Absence and Mug Shot

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Former President Donald Trump retains his commanding lead over other GOP presidential candidates despite not appearing for the first Republican primary debate and the release of his mugshot, according to a new national poll.

According to a Morning Consult poll published Tuesday, Trump is the first choice for 58 percent of potential Republican primary voters — 44 percentage points ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is the first choice for 14 percent. These figures remain unchanged from the week before.

“Trump’s lead unshaken by debate absence and mug shot,” the survey’s subtitle reads.

After Trump and DeSantis, the candidates are ranked: businessman Vivek Ramaswamy at ten percent, former Vice President Mike Pence at six percent, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at five percent, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at three percent, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott at two percent, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson at one percent. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former Texas Rep. Will Hurd, and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez — who recently suspended his presidential campaign — each have zero percent backing.

DeSantis is the second choice of 32 percent of potential GOP primary voters who back Trump, while Trump is the second choice of 37 percent of potential GOP primary voters who back Desantis.

Ramaswamy is the second choice for 26 percent of Trump supporters and 17 percent of DeSantis supporters, the poll shows. Pence is the second choice for 11 percent of Trump backers and 13 percent of DeSantis backers.

The poll also finds that far more of Trump’s supporters (13 percent) than DeSantis’s (three percent) are uncertain about where their loyalties would fall if their first choice were not in the race.

The poll was conducted from August 25-27 with a sample size of 3,617 potential Republican primary voters, which includes registered voters who said they plan to vote in the Republican presidential primary or caucus in their state in 2024. The unweighted margin of error was ± two percentage points.

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