Donald Trump holds a commanding lead over Ron DeSantis in the first 2024 GOP primary poll released since the Florida governor confirmed he is running for the White House.
According to a National Research Inc. survey of 500 likely South Carolina Republican primary votes, commissioned by American Greatness, Trump is the overwhelming favorite and leads the multi-candidate ballot by 43 percent, with DeSantis second on 18 percent.
The results, published on May 26, also show Trump heavily beating South Carolina Senator Tim Scott (12 percent), who officially declared he is running on May 22, as well as former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (10 percent) in a hypothetical GOP primary.
No other candidate in the pool, including confirmed 2024 hopefuls entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and ex-Vice President Mike Pence, who is strongly rumored to announce he is running, received more than one percent.
When broken down further, the poll shows that South Carolinians who say they will “definitely” vote are more likely to support Trump (47 percent) than DeSantis (19 percent), with the former president also holding a 29-point lead over the Florida governor among voters who are favorable to both candidates.
The survey was conducted May 24-25. DeSantis revealed his intention to run in a Federal Election Commission filing on Wednesday, May 24. He discussed the bid to challenge Trump in the GOP primary later that night with on Twitter Spaces.
The online event, hosted by the social media platform’s owner Elon Musk, was met with severe technical difficulties from the start, resulting in audio frequently cut out for long periods and major feedback on the stream.
The stream eventually cut out entirely after around 20 minutes, before it launched a few minutes later, albeit still with some glitches, where DeSantis was finally able to confirm he is running for president in 2024.
Trump was quick to mock the man who has long been considered the biggest challenger to the former president in the 2024 GOP primary after his announcement was beset with teething problems.
“Wow! The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER! His whole campaign will be a disaster,” Trump wrote on Truth Social
Reacting to the Twitter Space announcement, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told Newsweek: “Glitchy. Tech issues. Uncomfortable silences. A complete failure to launch. And that’s just the candidate.”
Elsewhere, an Echelon Insights poll of 390 likely GOP primary voters, conducted between May 22 and 25, also shows Trump with a commanding lead.
The survey revealed that Trump would get the backing of nearly half (49 percent) of the GOP primary if held today, with DeSantis second on 19 percent and Pence in third on nine percent.