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Trump leads DeSantis in GOP primary: CNN poll

Of those who opted against either Trump or DeSantis, 71% indicated they were open to changing their preferred candidate.

Published: March 14, 2023 4:07pm

Updated: March 14, 2023 4:54pm

Former President Donald Trump holds a modest lead over prospective GOP primary rival Ron DeSantis, a recent CNN survey revealed.

Trump claimed 40% support among self-identified Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, while the Florida governor took 36%. Former Vice President Mike Pence and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley each earned 6% support.

Thus far, only Trump, Haley, tech mogul Vivek Ramaswamy, and businessman Perry Johnson have announced their candidacies officially. 

When factoring in second choices, DeSantis holds a narrow lead over the former president, with 65% of the field choosing him first or second, compared to 59% who opted for Trump.

The survey also found that Republicans prioritize a candidate's alignment with their views on major issues as opposed to their ability to beat President Joe Biden by a 59% to 41% margin.

Of those who did not opt for either Trump or DeSantis, 71% indicated they were open to changing their preferred candidate, while majorities of Trump and DeSantis supporters, 76% and 59%, said they had made up their minds.

Conducted between March 8-12, the survey questioned 1,045 self-identified Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and has a margin of error of +/- 3.8%.

It is the latest of many polls that show Trump leading the GOP field and further indicates that most GOP voters are mulling either him or DeSantis as their choice, giving little consideration to other names.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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