Momentum-Backed Trump Surges to 14-Point Lead Since Early February

Former President Donald Trump has surged to a double-digit lead over Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) after they were tied in early February, according to a hypothetical 2024 Republican primary poll.

The Monmouth University poll released Tuesday shows that 41 percent of Republican voters want Trump as the GOP nominee, placing him 14 percentage points above DeSantis at 27 percent. Former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) holds three percent of support, while former Vice President Mike Pence and Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are tied at one percent.

“Trump and DeSantis are grabbing most of the media attention, so it is not surprising that most Republican voters do not come up with any names other than these two,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Trump has gained eight percentage points of support compared to a Monmouth poll released on February 9, when he and DeSantis were tied at 33 percent. Conversely, the Florida governor has slid six points.

Trump has also made substantial gains on DeSantis in Monmouth’s hypothetical head-to-head poll. Currently, Trump leads 47 percent to 46 percent, a net-14 point swing his way in seven weeks. The previous poll, which was completed between January 26 and February 2, showed DeSantis with a double-digit lead over the 45th president at 53 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

Monmouth’s latest survey sampled respondents between March 16-20, meaning a portion of the poll was conducted after Trump announced he expects to be arrested by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in the near future. A Morning Consult poll that was also partly conducted after the announcement showed Trump’s lead continuing to surge as well.

DeSantis weighed in on the expected arrest on Monday. He condemned George Soros-backed New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg but also said his administration would “not going to be involved” with a “manufactured circus by some Soros [backed] DA,”

Breitbart News reported, “But what I can speak to is that if you have a prosecutor who is ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction, and he chooses to go back many, many years ago, to try to use something about porn star hush money payment,” DeSantis said, concluding that he has “real issues” to deal with in Florida.

Some conservatives were highly critical of DeSantis’s response, including Mike Cernovich, who asserted, “There is no bigger issue.”

Monmouth sampled 521 Republicans and leaners nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 6.6 percentage points.

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