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Trump Maintains Strong GOP Primary Lead

Former President Donald Trump, who plans to skip this week’s televised debate among Republican 2024 presidential candidates, remains the overwhelming favorite with GOP primary voters.

A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and Enforce the Law PAC  finds that 49% of Likely Republican primary voters would vote for Trump if the primary were held today, while 11% would vote for businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and 10% would vote for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gets seven percent (7%), followed by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (4%), former Vice President Mike Pence (3%), former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley (3%), former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (1%) and conservative radio host Larry Elder (1%). A number of other Republican 2024 hopefuls – including North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former Texas Rep. Will Hurd, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Texas businessman Ryan Binkley and Michigan businessman Perry Johnson – registered less than one percent (1%) support in the poll. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

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The survey of 818 Likely Republican Primary Voters was conducted on August 19-21, 2023 by Rasmussen Reports and Enforce the Law PAC. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Trump cited his strong poll numbers Sunday in declaring he would not participate in the Milwaukee debate set for Wednesday.  

Last month’s Rasmussen survey found Trump favored by 57% of Likely Republican Voters, more than 40 points ahead of his nearest rival, DeSantis. 

The latest Rasmussen/Enforce the Law PAC poll finds other evidence of strong GOP support for Trump. In the wake of recent criminal indictments for the former president, only 24% of Republican primary voters think Trump is guilty of committing crimes. Twenty-eight percent (28%) believe Trump did something wrong but not criminal, while 44% say Trump did nothing wrong.

Forty-four percent (44%) of likely GOP primary voters say that if a Republican candidate defended Trump, they would be more likely to support that candidate. Twenty-three percent (23%) would be less likely to support a candidate who supported Trump, while 29% say it would not make much difference.

Among other findings of the Rasmussen/Enforce the Law PAC survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters:

– Twenty-three percent (23%) say inflation is the most important issue when it comes to deciding who to support for the 2024 election, while government corruption is the most important issue for 20%. Seventeen percent (17%) say the border is the most important issue, and 13% say government spending and debt is most important.

– Eighty-one percent (81%) believe it is likely that progressive criminal justice policies have led to an increase in crime, including 66% who think it’s Very Likely.

– Seventy-four percent (74%) are concerned that George Soros has been involved in getting liberal prosecutors elected in the United States, including 63% who are Very Concerned. 

– Eighty-three percent (83%) would support legislation that would allow the removal of prosecutors who refuse to follow the law, including 70% who would Strongly Support such legislation.

– Less than half (43%) support Congress continuing to provide U.S. taxpayer money to support the war in Ukraine, while 52% are opposed to continued support. Only 30% think it would be better for American interests: If Ukraine keeps fighting until the Russian invasion is completely defeated, while a majority (54%) think it would be better if Ukraine negotiates for peace with Russia. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.

“Republican voters are clearly concerned by big liberal donor George Soros’ project to buy prosecutors all over the country,” Eric Branstad of Enforce the Law PAC said of the survey results. “To date organizations funded by the massive progressive donor have successfully elected prosecutors in several of America’s biggest cities. This has caught the attention of Republican voters. Recently, they have seen crime rapidly rise in America’s largest cities like New York and Los Angeles as Soros-supported prosecutors have refused to enforce the law and have enacted liberal policies like early release and ‘no bail.’ Simultaneously they have aggressively pursued and prosecuted conservative Americans.”

Two-thirds of American voters think their politicians are influenced by China, but aren’t sure which party is most under Beijing’s influence. 

With former President Trump now facing criminal indictments in four separate cases, voters are divided over where he’ll end up next year.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to the public as well as to Platinum Members.

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The survey of 818 Likely Republican Primary Voters was conducted on August 19-21, 2023 by Rasmussen Reports and Enforce the Law PAC. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

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