Surprising New Poll Shows GOP Voters Shifting on Trump’s 2024 Run

As the Democrats continue to drop serious hints about Joe Biden’s potential reelection campaign, (and just how much that they think it’s a bad idea), the GOP has largely been considered a settled situation.

Donald Trump, the de facto voice of the party thanks to the enormous size of the MAGA Movement, was expected to coast to the candidacy by announcing early and hitting the campaign trail hard.  And, if Joe Biden’s approval ratings stayed where they are, Trump would likely cruise to victory.

But now it appears as though the winds are shifting over on the right side of the aisle.

As Donald J. Trump weighs whether to open an unusually early White House campaign, a New York Times/Siena College poll shows that his post-presidential quest to consolidate his support within the Republican Party has instead left him weakened, with nearly half the party’s primary voters seeking someone different for president in 2024 and a significant number vowing to abandon him if he wins the nomination.

By focusing on political payback inside his party instead of tending to wounds opened by his alarming attempts to cling to power after his 2020 defeat, Mr. Trump appears to have only deepened fault lines among Republicans during his yearlong revenge tour. A clear majority of primary voters under 35 years old, 64 percent, as well as 65 percent of those with at least a college degree — a leading indicator of political preferences inside the donor class — told pollsters they would vote against Mr. Trump in a presidential primary.

Mr. Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, appears to have contributed to the decline in his standing, including among a small but important segment of Republicans who could form the base of his opposition in a potential primary contest. While 75 percent of primary voters said Mr. Trump was “just exercising his right to contest the election,” nearly one in five said he “went so far that he threatened American democracy.”

But it wasn’t all bad news…

Overall, Mr. Trump maintains his primacy in the party: In a hypothetical matchup against five other potential Republican presidential rivals, 49 percent of primary voters said they would support him for a third nomination.

The greatest threat to usurp Mr. Trump within the party is Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who was the second choice with 25 percent and the only other contender with double-digit support. Among primary voters, Mr. DeSantis was the top choice of younger Republicans, those with a college degree and those who said they voted for President Biden in 2020.

DeSantis has been playing coy about any potential campaign for the Republican presidential ticket, leading to reported private frustration from Donald Trump.