2024 Republican Race Is No Longer a Slam Dunk for Donald Trump

For the better part of a year, when asked if I thought Donald Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, my answer has been the same: if he runs, he will be.

The results of a new national poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College and published on Tuesday, as well as some other events, have caused me to rethink my previous binary assessment.

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Trump Is No Longer Quite Certain to Win Republican Nomination In 2024

Trump received 49% of the vote in the poll, with DeSantis coming in second with 25%. Nobody else, not even former Vice President Mike Pence or former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s rival, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, received more than 10% of the vote.

2024 Republican Race Donald Trump
2024 Republican Race Donald Trump

More than half of all Republican primary voters in 2024 said they would support a candidate other than Trump. (As an aside, Joe Biden does even worse on that question.)

And among Trump voters who rated each candidate as “very” favorable in 2020, a proxy for enthusiasm among the party base, Trump (46%) and DeSantis (44% ) had nearly identical numbers.


There are two additional factors to think about:

Incredibly for a governor seeking a second term, DeSantis ended the month of May with over $100 million in the bank for his 2022 reelection campaign. In addition, Politico reported on Tuesday that DeSantis recently hosted a gathering for top donors and fellow governors he is close with, a move that must be viewed through a 2024 lens.

A recent poll by the University of New Hampshire showed a virtual tie between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis in New Hampshire’s Republican primary, with DeSantis at 39% and Trump at 37%. In October 2021, Trump had a 17% lead over DeSantis.

To be clear, Trump remains the likely Republican nominee if he runs (and there is good reason to think he will).

However, Trump can no longer assume an easy victory.

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