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McLaughlin Poll: Trump Is Still the One to Beat

former us president donald j trump

Former U.S. President Donald Trump spoke at a campaign rally on the eve of Election Day at the Dayton International Airport on Nov. 7, 2022 in Vandalia, Ohio. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

John McLaughlin By and Monday, 19 December 2022 01:19 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Our most recent poll of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted between Dec. 9-14, 2022.

This poll made news last week, because it differs significantly from several media polls released right before ours.

Importantly, the poll shows former President Trump strongly leading the GOP field for 2024. In fact, our polls show Trump is as strong as ever.

It's not unusal other polls have different findings. 

Historically media polls under poll President Trump’s level of support among voters.

Our poll was more favorable to President Trump than these recent media polls.

For us it’s déjà vu all over again, except we may have learned from 2016 and 2020.

In recent days there have been several media polls downplaying the ability of Donald Trump to win the 2024 presidential election.

Do they think that the voters have forgotten the "Hillary Lock" of 2016 and the "Biden Blue Wave" of 2020?

Neither happened as they under-polled Trump’s actual voter support.

Both were very close electoral elections.

In the battleground states 2016 was decided by 78,000 votes out of 139 million cast.

2020 was decided by 44,000 out of 160 million cast.

But really comparing our poll to these media polls is like comparing apples to oranges.

Our poll was comprised of 1,000 likely voters.

This means that we have tougher screening questions for the voters to be included in the poll to assure they are really voters and that they are intending to vote in November of 2024, as well as vote in the 2024 primaries. 

The other media polls were conducted among adults, or registered voters.

These are much larger universes which include tens of millions of people who may not vote. This dilutes President Trump’s level of support precisely because his base of support— when motivated is much more likely to vote in primaries and elections.

The U.S. Elections Project documents the serious difference in population samples for these polls. US Elections Project (

In 2020 there were a record 160 million voters who cast votes.

This reflected a significant increase from 2012: 130 million votes; and 2016: 139 million votes. However, the current voting-age population of the United States is 258 million people.

This means that there could well be 100 million people represented in their samples who are not going to vote.

Our sample represents the smaller actual voter population that intends to vote. And these are more likely to be actual GOP primary voters.

Our poll requires more contacts and is more expensive to complete, but we think it is a better predictor of the election. It certainly has been for President Trump.

So once again we see the media using polls to discourage and suppress supporters and donors of President Trump


Because it’s very clear that the Republican establishment, the Washington, D.C. establishment, and the media establishment do not want to see him elected president again.

Unlike these media polls that have the diluted samples, or have Republicans as low as 25% of their sample (the 2020 election exit polls had Republicans at 36%), or ask leading anti-Trump questions before they ask the ballot, our poll was overall good news for President Trump.

Among likely Republican primary voters 61% want to see Donald Trump run for president again in 2024. That’s the same result we had on Nov. 8, 2022 in our exit poll.

If Donald Trump runs again in 2024, 77% of likely primary voters say they would support him again. The same result as our 2022 election exit poll.

In a field of 14 candidates, among likely primary voters, Trump leads with 48%. Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is second at 23%, followed by former Vice President Mike Pence 5%, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., 4%, former governor of South Carolina and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley 3%, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah 2%, and all others at 1%.

Since the election 2022 exit poll, Trump is up a point and Gov. DeSantis is down 4%. In a head to head matchup, among likely primary voters, Trump leads DeSantis 58% to 36%.

Among these likely Republican primary voters, 59% think that Donald Trump is better positioned to beat Joe Biden in 2024 for president.

Only 36% prefer someone else.

In a 2024 general election among all likely voters, Trump leads Joe Biden 48% to 45%.

Among all likely voters Trump leads Vice President Kamala Harris 49% to 42%.

Although the Republicans may have failed to collectively capitalize on a huge opportunity that Nov. 8 presented the trends are still there for Donald Trump to capitalize on.

This past year the Democrats and their allies in big media and big tech were very clear that they did everything in their power to make this past election a choice contrast election between the parties and not allow it to be a referendum on Joe Biden and their record.

Their efforts were very successful to keep control of the senate and minimize the U.S. House Republican majority.

The Democrats dodged an election bullet, but can they dodge it two elections in a row?

Nationally, Republicans still have a four point lead in the generic ballot for Congress 48% to 44%. Likely 2024 voters say America is on the wrong track 65% to only 29% right direction. 60% say that the economy is in a recession.

64% say the economy is getting worse and only 30% say the economy is getting better.

82% have been negatively impacted by inflation where 42% say that they are struggling to afford basic necessities.

The majority of likely voters 52% disapprove of the job President Biden is doing; 46% approve. This needs to go higher if the Republicans want to do better.

Getting negatives to stick on Joe Biden with big media and big tech censoring important stories is a huge challenge for Republicans.

On Election Day our exit poll showed that two thirds of all voters, 68%, said the U.S. was on the wrong track, but among all voters, only 46% blamed Joe Biden for being on the wrong track.

In the 2020 election, 36%, of Biden’s voters were not aware of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. The now proven denial of free speech for President Trump and the denial of freedom of the press for the New York Post and subsequent censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal provided the election interference Biden needed to win.

Today in this new poll only 39% of the likely voters say that they had seen, read or heard anything about the "Twitter Files" which were recently released by Twitter.

61% had not. The election interference continues.

Only 50% among Republicans, 37% of independents, 30% of Democrats, 32% of Biden 2020 voters and only 28% of women had heard of the Twitter File story.

It’s obvious the continued denial of free speech, freedom of the press and censorship by big media and big tech of the Hunter Biden scandal is working today to protect President Biden at the expense of the rights of individual Americans.

If the story were to be covered, the potential for a shift in voters’ opinions would be significant. Voters were asked, "Based on what you have seen, read or heard about Elon Musk releasing Twitter’s files from October 2020 about the Hunter Biden laptop, would you agree or disagree that Twitter and Big Tech worked with the FBI, the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign to censor the New York Post’s story on Hunter Biden and violated the New York Post’s right to Freedom of Press?"

The majority 53% agreed. Only 17% disagreed.

The soft underbelly for President Biden remains the issue of alleged corruption.

The majority, 54%, believes Joe Biden and his family are compromised because they have accepted millions of dollars from interests in Russia, China and the Ukraine.

Only 30% say no.

Instead big media and big tech opponents are targeting Elon Musk who has a polarizing opinion rating with a 43% favorable to 40% unfavorable.

Please see: National Survey and Political Environment Analysis Likely General Election Voters Presented by: John McLaughlin On the web

John McLaughlin has worked professionally as a strategic consultant and pollster for over 40 years. Jim McLaughlin is a nationally recognized public opinion expert, strategic consultant and political strategist who has helped to elect a U.S. President, Prime Ministers, a Senate Majority Leader, and a Speaker of the House. Read John and Jim McLaughlin's Reports — More Here.

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Among likely Republican primary voters 61% want to see Donald Trump run for president again in 2024. That’s the same result we had on Nov. 8, 2022 in our exit poll.
democrats, independents, primaries
Monday, 19 December 2022 01:19 PM
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