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Former President Donald Trump’s massive lead in the Republican primary has grown even larger, according to the latest Real Clear Politics polling average.
Trump, who has enjoyed a lead in the polls since announcing his candidacy in November 2022, is currently sitting at 58.8% in the national RCP average, a new high for the former president as he faces a crowded field of GOP challengers. Trump leads his closest challenger, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who sits at 12.5%, by nearly 50 percentage points as DeSantis has fallen more than ten percentage points in the polling average since early June.
Those trailing behind Trump and DeSantis are tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (7.5%), former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (5.0%), former Vice President Mike Pence (4.1%), former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (2.3%), and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina (2.3%). North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who both qualified for the first GOP debate last month, are both polling below 1%, according to the RCP average.
In each of the latest three polls, which came from Emerson, Yahoo News, and Morning Consult, Trump polled at 59%, while Harvard-Harris and Economist/YouGov polls taken earlier last week put Trump at 57% and 55%, respectively. DeSantis’ best showing nationally came in the Economist/YouGov poll, which has shown him at 16% in each of its last three polls. Ramaswamy hit double digits at 10% in the Morning Consult poll and came within two percentage points of DeSantis in the Harvard-Harris poll.
Trump’s decision to skip the first Republican debate appears to have had no effect on his polling nationally, and the former president will also skip the second debate next week, opting instead to speak to striking auto workers in Detroit.
It remains unclear whether Trump will lose support in the polls for his latest comments on abortion, which were harshly criticized by many conservatives. Trump was interviewed by journalist Kristen Welker on “Meet the Press,” telling the journalist that he thinks it was “a terrible mistake” for Republican states to pass six-week abortion bans, also known as heartbeat bills.
While Trump enjoys a nearly 50 percentage point lead nationally, his support in Iowa, the first caucus state in the GOP primary, remains under 50%. As reported last week, Trump stands at 46.0% in Iowa, and DeSantis holds second place at 15.8%, according to the latest RCP average. Scott (9.0%) and Haley (7.0%) got a recent boost in the state, coming in third and fourth place. Ramaswamy (6.5%), Pence (3.5%), Christie (3.5%), and Burgum (2.5%) round out the polling of candidates who hit above 2% in Iowa.