While recent polls suggest former President Donald Trump is currently leading the GOP presidential primary race, a large portion of his supporters are still considering other 2024 candidates, according to a new poll.
A New York Times/Siena College poll found that 54% of Republican respondents are supporting Trump in his third presidential bid, however, 46% are still considering voting for a different candidate in 2024.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., was the choice candidate to 17% of GOP voters, receiving the second-most support among the primary contenders. The margins were tighter, however, in a one-on-one matchup between Trump and his Florida rival, 62% to 31% – with Trump still holding a significant lead.
Despite the poll finding that Trump currently holds a major lead in the crowded primary field, DeSantis leads as the alternative candidate to the respondents who said they are not initially supporting neither the Florida governor nor Trump.
Every other Republican contender in the race, such as former Vice President Mike Pence and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, all received under 4% support in the poll.
Among the respondents supporting these candidates, 47% said they would choose DeSantis over the former president if they were the options while only 29% said they would support Trump over DeSantis.
As he ramps up his 2024 campaign, DeSantis suggested that Trump won’t win the nomination given the “realities” of recent state polling.
“The polls that come out … I beat Biden in Georgia. Trump doesn’t. I beat Biden soundly in Arizona. Trump doesn’t. Those are just the realities,” DeSantis said during a recent appearance on Fox News’ “Special Report.”
The poll also found that 51% of respondents believe Trump committed serious federal crimes involving recent investigations into the former president, after most recently being indicted in June by Special Counsel Jack Smith on 37 federal counts relating to the unlawful retention of classified documents.
Despite past and looming indictments, Trump recently suggested that it is his lead in the polls that is driving the ongoing investigations.
“If I weren’t leading Biden by a lot in numerous polls, and wasn’t going to be the Republican nominee, it wouldn’t be happening. It wouldn’t be happening,” Trump told Fox News Digital.
The NYT poll found that Trump and President Biden were tied in a hypothetical 2024 rematch, both locking in 43% support among likely voters.
The poll of 1,329 registered voters nationwide, including an over-sample of 818 registered Republican voters, was conducted in English and Spanish on cellular and landline phones from July 23-27. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.67 percentage points for all registered voters and plus or minus 3.96 percentage points for the likely Republican primary electorate.
Fox News’ Aubrie Spady, Ashley Carnahan, Brooke Singman and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.