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2024 declared GOP presidential candidates.

DeSantis Message Falls Flat


Trump maintains strong GOP primary advantage despite indictments

West Long Branch, NJ – A majority of Republican voters say former President Donald Trump would be their strongest nominee in the 2024 election and few feel the criminal indictments he faces are of any concern. According to the Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to paint himself as both a stronger candidate and a more effective leader than Trump have largely failed to connect with the GOP electorate.

When asked whom they would like to see as the Republican nominee for president in 2024, 46% of GOP-aligned and leaning voters name Trump and 20% name DeSantis without any prompting. In a primary ballot question that explicitly lists 14 announced candidates, Trump’s support increases to 54% while DeSantis’ vote share barely moves (22%) and no other candidate gets above 5%. In a head-to-head contest between just the two, Trump garners 55% support and DeSantis gets 35%. These results are similar to a Monmouth poll taken two months ago when DeSantis officially launched his campaign.

2024 GOP Nomination.
14 candidate field. Trump 54%, DeSantis 22%, Ramaswamy 5%, Scott 3%, Christie 3%, Haley 3%, Pence 3%, all others 2%.
Trump vs DeSantis 55%, 35%.
Trump vs Scott 72%, 23%.
Trump vs Christie 82%, 12%..

Half of Republican voters identify as a supporter of the MAGA movement (31% strongly and 21% somewhat). Trump commands the backing of 3 in 4 strong MAGA supporters and about half of those who support MAGA somewhat. In a head-to-head race, DeSantis (47%) has more backing than Trump (39%) among the 4 in 10 Republicans who do not support MAGA. However, the Florida governor loses about half of his non-MAGA vote share to others when the race involves a multi-candidate field.

“DeSantis has not made any headway. The arguments that he’d be a stronger candidate and a more effective president than Trump have both fallen flat,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Just 22% of Republican voters say that DeSantis would be a stronger candidate than Trump in a general election against incumbent President Joe Biden, but nearly twice as many (47%) say he would actually be weaker than Trump. Another 26% say DeSantis would be just as strong as Trump. On the question of governing, only 19% feel DeSantis would be more effective than Trump in running the country and getting his policies enacted, while 49% think Trump would be more effective than DeSantis. Another 30% say the two men would be equally as effective.

When considering the entire GOP field, nearly half (45%) of Republican voters – including those who lean toward the GOP – say Trump is definitely the strongest candidate to beat Biden in 2024, and another 24% think he is probably the strongest candidate. Just one-third of GOP voters say another Republican would definitely (13%) or probably (18%) be a stronger candidate than Trump. These results are nearly identical to a Monmouth poll taken in May.

Only 1 in 4 Republican voters express any real degree of concern (11% very and 16% somewhat) that the criminal indictments against Trump would make him a weaker candidate against Biden in the general election. In fact, nearly half (47%) are not at all concerned about these charges being a drag on Trump.

Pie Chart titled: Strongest GOP Candidate against Biden.
Definitely Trump 45%.
Probably Trump, 24%.
Probably other, 18%.
Definitely other, 13%.

“Trump has successfully pushed a politics of grievance where the system is out to get you. In that light, the criminal charges seem to make him an even stronger advocate in the eyes of many Republicans,” said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll assessed GOP voters’ opinion of fourteen declared candidates for the party’s nomination in 2024. Republicans have an overwhelmingly positive view of Trump (77% favorable and 18% unfavorable), which has been fairly stable since Monmouth began tracking candidate ratings at the beginning of the year. DeSantis also gets a largely positive rating (65% favorable and 18% unfavorable), but this has steadily eroded from his top result of 80% favorable in February.

Views of Sen. Tim Scott (49% favorable and 7% unfavorable) and former Gov. Nikki Haley (42% favorable and 20% unfavorable) have been fairly stable, but about 4 in 10 Republican voters remain largely unfamiliar with either of these South Carolinians. Other candidates who are rated by at least half of the Republican electorate include former Vice President Mike Pence (35% favorable and 45% unfavorable) and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (18% favorable and 55% unfavorable). Pence’s rating was in net positive territory until the current poll. Christie’s rating has been negative from the start and has grown even more negative since the spring.

 At least a third of Republican voters are familiar enough to rate business entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (32% favorable and 9% unfavorable), talk show host Larry Elder (28% favorable and 15% unfavorable), and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (15% favorable and 21% unfavorable). The remaining five candidates are rated by no more than 1 in 4 GOP voters: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (11% favorable and 9% unfavorable), former Texas Congressman Will Hurd (8% favorable and 11% unfavorable), Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (8% favorable and 17% unfavorable), business entrepreneur Perry Johnson (5% favorable and 9% unfavorable), and former Cranston, Rhode Island Mayor Steve Laffey (3% favorable and 9% unfavorable).

When all 14 candidates are included in a primary ballot test, none – other than Trump and DeSantis – get close to breaking out of single digits. The top performers in this group are Ramaswamy (5%), Christie (3%), Haley (3%), Pence (3%), and Scott (3%).

The poll also tested head-to-head contests between Trump and two other candidates – both of whom do worse than DeSantis in this scenario. Against Scott, Trump gets 72% and Scott only gets 23%. Against Christie, Trump gets 82% and Christie gets just 12%.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone and online from July 12 to 19, 2023 with 681 Republican and Republican leaning voters in the United States. The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 5.9 percentage points for the full sample. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.


(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

[Q1-22 from national poll of all adults previously released.]

23.Looking ahead, who would you like to see as the Republican nominee for President in 2024? [OPEN-END QUESTION. LIST WAS NOT READ]

Donald Trump46%43%41%33%26%
Ron DeSantis20%19%27%33%39%
Vivek Ramaswamy3%1%0%0%0%
Tim Scott3%3%1%<1%<1%
Nikki Haley2%1%3%1%1%
Chris Christie1%<1%0%0%0%
Mike Pence1%3%1%2%2%
(VOL) Don’t know19%23%23%24%25%

24.I’m going to read you the names of candidates running for president in the Republican Party.  Please tell me if your general impression of each is favorable or unfavorable, or if you don’t really have an opinion. If you have not heard of the person, just let me know. First, [READ NAME]. [NAMES WERE ROTATED]


heard of

Former President Donald Trump77%18%5%0%(681)
— May 202377%17%6%0%(655)
— March 202371%21%8%0%(521)
— Feb. 202374%18%8%0%(566)
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis65%18%13%4%(681)
— May 202373%12%11%3%(655)
— March 202376%8%11%5%(521)
— Feb. 202380%6%11%3%(566)
Former Vice President Mike Pence35%45%19%0%(681)
— May 202346%35%18%0%(655)
— March 202342%37%21%0%(521)
— Feb. 202355%28%17%0%(566)
Former South Carolina Governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley42%20%25%13%(681)
— May 202347%16%23%14%(655)
— March 202345%16%23%16%(521)
— Feb. 202347%11%22%19%(566)
Business entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy32%9%23%37%(681)
— May 202322%6%26%46%(655)
— March 202317%6%28%49%(521)
— Feb. 2023n/an/an/an/an/a
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott49%7%26%18%(681)
— May 202344%8%28%20%(655)
— March 202343%6%31%20%(521)
— Feb. 2023n/an/an/an/an/a
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson15%21%33%31%(681)
— May 202317%14%35%35%(655)
— March 202318%9%45%29%(521)
— Feb. 2023n/an/an/an/an/a
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie18%55%20%7%(681)
— May 202321%47%24%8%(655)
— March 202324%42%28%6%(521)
— Feb. 2023n/an/an/an/an/a
(Note: there are no prior trends on the following candidates, except Laffey)     
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez8%17%33%41%(681)
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum11%9%31%49%(681)
Former Texas Congressman Will Hurd8%11%35%46%(681)
Radio talk show host Larry Elder28%15%29%28%(681)
Business entrepreneur Perry Johnson5%9%26%61%(681)
Former Cranston, RI Mayor Steve Laffey3%9%27%61%(681)
— March 20234%8%34%55%(521)

25.Of the 14 candidates I just asked about, which one do you most support for the Republican nomination? [LIST WAS READ ONLY IF NEEDED]

Donald Trump54%
Ron DeSantis22%
Mike Pence3%
 Nikki Haley3%
Vivek Ramaswamy5%
Tim Scott3%
Asa Hutchinson<1%
Chris Christie3%
Francis Suarez<1%
Doug Burgum1%
Will Hurd<1%
Larry Elder<1%
Perry Johnson1%
Steve Laffey<1%
(VOL) None of these2%
(VOL) Don’t know4%


26.Who would you choose if the candidates for the Republican nomination were Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

(VOL) Neither2%3%2%2%
(VOL) Don’t know7%6%5%5%

27.Who would you choose if the candidates for the Republican nomination were Donald Trump and Tim Scott? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

(VOL) Neither1%
(VOL) Don’t know4%

28.Who would you choose if the candidates for the Republican nomination were Donald Trump and Chris Christie? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

(VOL) Neither2%
(VOL) Don’t know4%

29.Regardless of whether you currently support Donald Trump, which of the following statements comes closest to your view about which Republican has the best chance to win in 2024:  Donald Trump is definitely the strongest candidate to beat Joe Biden, Donald Trump is probably the strongest candidate to beat Joe Biden, another Republican would probably be a stronger candidate than Trump, or another Republican would definitely be a stronger candidate than Trump?

Trump definitely strongest45%45%
Trump probably strongest24%18%
Another Republican probably stronger18%19%
Another Republican definitely stronger13%13%
(VOL) Don’t know1%4%

30.In a general election against Joe Biden, would Ron DeSantis be just as strong a candidate as Donald Trump would be, would DeSantis be stronger than Trump, or would DeSantis be weaker than Trump?

Just as strong as Trump26%
Stronger than Trump22%
Weaker than Trump47%
(VOL) Don’t know5%

31.How concerned are you that the criminal indictments against Donald Trump would make him a weaker candidate against Joe Biden in the general election – very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?

Very concerned11%
Somewhat concerned16%
Not too concerned25%
Not at all concerned47%
(VOL) Don’t know2%

32.Who do you think would be more effective as president in running the country and getting his policies enacted – Ron DeSantis or Donald Trump – or would they be equally as effective? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

(VOL) Don’t know2%

33.Would you describe yourself as a born-again or evangelical Christian, or not?

(VOL) Don’t know2%3%1%

34.Would you describe yourself as a supporter of the MAGA movement, or not? [If YES: Do you support MAGA strongly or just somewhat?]

Supporter, strong31%38%
Supporter, somewhat21%28%
Not a supporter39%28%
(VOL) Don’t know9%6%


The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from July 12 to 19, 2023 with a probability-based national random sample of 681 registered voters who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. Interviews were conducted in English, and included 198 live landline telephone interviews, 236 live cell phone interviews, 237 online surveys via a cell phone text invitation, and 10 online surveys via an email invitation. Telephone numbers were selected through a mix of random digit dialing and list-based sampling. Landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, with sample obtained from Dynata (RDD, n= 232), Aristotle (list, n= 355) and a panel of prior Monmouth poll participants (n= 94). Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on voter list and US Census information (ACS 2021 one-year survey). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 5.9 percentage points adjusted for sample design effects (1.56). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

46% Strong Republican
16% Republican, not strong
38% Independent, lean Rep.
53% Male
47% Female
16% 18-34
23% 35-49
32% 50-64
29% 65+
80% White
11% Hispanic
  9% Black/Asian/Other
40% High school or less
32% Some college
28% 4 year degree

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and crosstabs by key demographic groups.