Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Trump maintains dominant lead before caucuses

By 37ci3 Jan14,2024

DES MOINES, Iowa – Former President Donald Trump, who has been strengthening his position with evangelical Christians, first-time voters and registered Republicans, has a nearly 30-point lead in the polls. final NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll Before Monday’s GOP caucus.

The poll also finds Trump enjoys the support of the most enthusiastic and loyal likely caucus members, which could be crucial as the state battles sub-zero temperatures and even colder wind chills on caucus night.

Poll respondent Owen Monds, 34, of Des Moines, said he was rooting for Trump: “I know there’s been a lot of controversy about him, but right now I feel like he’s the man for the job.” “You know, I don’t feel like anyone running is as skilled as he is.”

The poll shows former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley narrowly leading Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, though the difference is within the poll’s margin of error.

While Haley’s first-choice support has grown, only 9% of her supporters say they are extremely enthusiastic about her candidacy — well below enthusiasm for Trump or even DeSantis.

“There’s a fundamental weakness here,” pollster J. Ann Selzer said of Haley’s situation. “If turnout is low, it seems to me that a disproportionate number of his supporters may stay home.”

According to Selzer’s three-decade survey of Iowans, Trump has first-choice support from 48% of likely Republicans — 20% for Haley, 16% for DeSantis and 8% for entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. .

Trump’s 28-point lead over his closest rival is down from his 32-point lead. December’s NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll.

But it will if its incumbent continues on caucus night the largest margin of victory For a non-existent Republican presidential candidate in Iowa. The current record margin, 13 points, was set by Bob Dole in 1988.

“He’s still in command, but there’s a slide,” Selzer said of Trump. “The game appears to be for second place with no real challenger on the horizon.”

Trump’s strongest groups are evangelical Christians (51% of whom choose him as their first choice), registered Republicans (54%), first-time voters (56%), and members of the group most likely to lack a college degree (59 %).

Haley’s first-choice support of 20% in the poll is up four points from the December poll, and she’s performing well among independents (33% of whom chose her as their first choice) and those with college degrees (27%).

Surprisingly, half of Haley’s supporters identify as either independents (39%) or Democrats (11%) — a stark contrast to the poll’s overall composition, which is 69% Republican, 23% independent, and 5% Democrat.

And DeSantis’ 16% first-choice support is down 3 points from December, when he was a distant second to Trump.

The Florida governor is a strong performer among evangelicals, with 22% of them choosing him as their top candidate.

The poll was underway when former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suspended his presidential campaign on Jan. 10. But Christie stayed out of Iowa on the campaign trail, preferring to focus his resources and attention elsewhere, and Iowa polls show little to no change. after exiting. (The support of caucus participants who had chosen Christie as their first choice was moved to the second choice, which had almost no effect on the overall horse race.)

Donald Trump Jr. on the Campaign Trail in Iowa
A bus in support of former President Donald Trump outside the Car Depot in Urbandale, Iowa on Jan. 11. Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The enthusiasm factor helps Trump, hurts Haley

Aside from Trump’s lead in first-choice support, what stands out in the poll is the enthusiasm of his supporters.

While 32% of Republican commissioners say they are “extremely enthusiastic” about their nominee, nearly half of Trump supporters — 49% — say the same about the former president.

“He’s a proven winner. He knows what to do from day 1. There’s no learning curve,” said poll respondent Joel Shaw, 65, of Batavia, Iowa, a Trump supporter.

Conversely, 23% of DeSantis supporters say they are extremely enthusiastic about the Florida governor. Only 9% of those who support Haley say they are extremely enthusiastic about her – down from 21% who said the same about her in December.

“Not very enthusiastic,” said independent Ryan Knapp, 34, of Cedar Rapids, who said he supports Haley. “Mainly collection [Haley] because… he seems to be the only sane one, and I’m willing to do anything to make sure Trump never gets another chance.”

More than two-thirds of those who joined the commission say that their opinions have changed

The survey also found that more than two-thirds of Republican commissioners — 68% — say their opinions are formed, up from 49% who said so in December.

That’s down from 46% last month, compared to 25% who still say they can be persuaded. The remaining voters are still undecided.

As with the enthusiasm factor, Trump outperforms his rivals among caucus participants who say they agree.

64% of DeSantis’ supporters and 63% of Haley’s supporters say their opinion is complete, compared to 82% of Trump’s supporters.

“I’m going to vote for one of them to beat Trump,” said poll respondent Nicole Woodley, 43, of Clarion, Iowa, who is still deciding between DeSantis and Haley and is voting for President Joe Biden in 2020.

A campaign poster rests in the snow outside Donald Trump’s campaign headquarters in Urbandale, Iowa on January 13. Caucuses in Iowa are scheduled for Jan. 15, the first vote in the presidential race.Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Other survey results

Trump has the highest net favorable/unfavorable rating among the GOP candidates – 69% favorable, 29% unfavorable (+40). He is followed by DeSantis with 58% favorable, 36% unfavorable (+22); Ramaswamy 52% favorable, 36% unfavorable (+16); and Haley 48% favorable, 46% unfavorable (+2).

After facing a wave of television attack ads over the past month, Haley’s brand has fallen sharply (+28) from a 59% favorable, 31% unfavorable rating in December.

As for the second choice, it is likely that 20% of the panel members choose DeSantis as their backup option, 18% choose Ramaswamy, 14% choose Haley, and 12% choose Trump.

And Trump enjoys the most loyal caucuses — 87% of Trump supporters said they always support him as their first choice. That compares to 67% of DeSantis supporters and 46% of Haley supporters who say they always support those candidates as their first choice.

The NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll of Iowa’s 705 Republican caucus participants from Jan. 7-12 had an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.7 percentage points.

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By 37ci3

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