NEW POLL: Trump’s Lead Slips After Skipping GOP Primary Debate While Some Rivals Gain Ground


Donald Trump might believe he doesn’t have to participate in the GOP primary debates because of his polling lead, though that lead might be shrinking after last week’s events.

A new Emerson College Polling survey of GOP primary voters after last week’s debate in Milwaukee shows the former president with 50 percent of the vote. This is a six-point drop from the 56 percent Trump had in Emerson’s last poll from before the debate, and Emerson says this is “the lowest support to date for the former President in Emerson national polls.”

While the data points to a polling slump for the ex-president, many of his opponents seem to have experienced a bump from their pre-debate numbers. Emerson’s post-debate poll shows that Ron DeSantis is at 12 percent when the Florida governor only had 10 percent beforehand. Meanwhile, Mike Pence boosted from 3 percent to 7 percent, Nikki Haley boosted from 2 percent to 7 percent, and Chris Christie went from 3 percent to 5 percent. Vivek Ramaswamy, meanwhile, went down from 10 percent to 9.

“While Trump saw a slight dip in support, the question from this poll is whether this is a blip for Trump or if the other Republican candidates will be able to rally enough support to be competitive for the caucus and primary season,” Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling said. “There appears to be a softening of support for Trump since last week’s survey, where 82 percent of Trump voters said they would definitely support him, compared to 71 percent after the debate. DeSantis’s support also softened from 32 percent who would definitely support to 25 percent, while Ramaswamy’s support remained consistent from 47 percent to 45 percent.”

While Trump’s polling lead has been established for some time, Kimball observed that “When Trump is removed from the GOP ballot test, his voters split between DeSantis at 32 percent and Ramaswamy at 29 percent, with Pence at 16 percent — which suggests if Trump was not to run, a race between DeSantis and Ramaswamy could take shape.” Even so, Kimball found that Trump has the upper hand on Biden between Cornel West’s third-party run and disapproval of the Biden administration’s response to the Maui wildfires.

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