If Trump can’t run for president, who is the preferred candidate for Republican voters?
The former president is far ahead of the other candidates if polling is to be believed, making the primary debates rather pointless without his attendance.
The fourth Republican party primary debate was hosted in Alabama last night. On stage, the four candidates who met the party’s criteria battled it out; Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Chris Christie.
Rather than fighting to take the reins of their party, these candidates are in reality fighting over scraps.
Former president Donald Trump commands a huge polling lead over his rivals. As of 7 December, Trump boasts 59.6% support of Republican voters with Ron DeSantis a distant second with 12.7%. This has been the crux of Trump’s argument to keep away from the debates, with such a big lead why potentially damage it?
This lead has left the other four candidates in a strange middle ground. The debates are supposed to be the main way that candidates can appeal to Republican voters and gain their support. With the largest one staying away, they are an barely-disguised sideshow to the likeliest candidate on 2024′s ballot; Donald Trump.
But what would happen if Trump can’t run? In voter’s minds, there are two real candidates.
What does the polling show of the other Republican candidates’ chances?
A new Deseret News/HarrisX poll of Republican voters asked which candidates has a chance of defeating Trump. 1,012 registered voters answered:
Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy have the lowest polling support at present, and there have been rumours that the latter will soon suspend his campaign. Realistically, it is between Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley. Both stack up well against Biden is an imagined election.
While DeSantis’ support has slumped since the Summer, Haley’s has been increasing. As we head towards the crucial Iowa caucus in the new year, keep an eye on these two as they are the only real challengers to Trump.