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A quarter of GOP say they'd back Trump as independent in 2024, threatening to split vote: Poll

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 1/31/2023 Cami Mondeaux
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More than a quarter of Republican voters say they’d back former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election even if he runs as a third-party candidate — possibly threatening to split the GOP electorate as the party seeks to win back the White House.

As the 2024 primary field begins to take shape, a majority of Republican voters are seeking to move past Trump and elevate another candidate as their party’s nominee. However, nearly 30% of “Always Trumpers” may be standing in their way, according to a new poll from the Bulwark. 

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“A large majority of GOP voters is ready to move on from Donald Trump. But a devoted minority might not let them,” said Sarah Longwell, who conducted the poll. “This is the 'Always Trump' faction of the Republican party. And they are why the GOP could be sleepwalking into another Donald Trump catastrophe.”

In a series of hypothetical matchups between Trump and other potential Republican candidates, polling shows the former president is fading with GOP voters at large. In a crowded primary field between Trump and nine of the party’s top contenders, the former president garnered roughly 28% of the vote — coming in below Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who clinched 39%, according to the poll.

In a one-on-one battle between Trump and DeSantis, the Florida governor bested the former president 52%-30%, the poll showed. Another 3% said they would not vote for either, with 15% still undecided.

However, faithful Trump supporters could threaten the GOP’s chances of winning back the White House in 2024 because that voting bloc said it would support the former president’s bid even if he ran as an independent.

In a hypothetical matchup involving President Joe Biden, DeSantis, and Trump, roughly 56% of Republicans said they’d vote for the Florida governor, while 28% would back a second term for Trump, according to the poll. Another 5% of Republicans said they’d rather vote for Biden rather than either DeSantis or Trump, with 9% undecided.

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“This is why it is dangerous to underestimate Trump,” Longwell wrote. “[Even] though Trump is as weak as he’s ever been, even though he is beset by legal peril, and even though there are alternative candidates turning the heads of a large majority of GOP primary voters (and donors), Trump still has an awful lot going for him.”

The Bulwark poll surveyed 1,000 likely Republican voters between Jan. 16 and 21 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. The poll was conducted in collaboration with North Star Opinion Research.

 

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Tags: 2024 Elections, Donald Trump, Republican primary, News, GOP

Original Author: Cami Mondeaux

Original Location: A quarter of GOP say they'd back Trump as independent in 2024, threatening to split vote: Poll

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