If the 2024 GOP presidential primary were held today, former President Donald Trump would win big, according to a Harris/Harvard CAPS poll released exclusively to The Hill on Monday.
Fifty-eight percent said they would vote for Trump to return to the Oval Office despite his 2020 defeat to President Joe Biden, a Democrat, with 6 of 10 Republicans favoring the former president.
''While defeated candidates rarely come back, Trump has a strong lead in the Republican primary especially among the most dedicated Republicans,'' Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey, said in the story.
In the poll, Trump holds a massive lead of 45 points to the second-best challenger, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who sits in third place with 9%.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are tied for fourth place with just 3% each, according to the poll.
While Trump has teased the media about possibly running again in 2024, he has ramped up his press statements and media appearances critical of the Biden administration and continues to plan his signature rallies around the country.
Absent Trump from the ballot, the runners-up improve dramatically with Pence, reaching 32%, DeSantis 20% and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz 14%, ahead of both Rubio and Haley, according to the story.
As Republicans place Trump high on their 2024 presidential wish list, the general electorate, including Democrats and independents, still find him polarizing, with the overall electorate split 48% to 47% in favor of him.
General election voters give the former president only a 2-point advantage when asked if he was a better president than Biden, with 51% to 49% saying he did a better job.
Penn told The Hill that Trump's lack of activity on social media since being banned by Twitter after the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6 may be helping his poll numbers.
''Facebook may have done Trump a favor as since he is out of the daily social media traffic his numbers have risen to an unprecedented 48 percent favorable,'' Penn said, according to The Hill. ''But the polarizing opinions on Trump make him today as likely to sink the Republican Party as help its return.''
The poll, a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll, was conducted among 1,578 registered voters from Sept. 15-16, with 490 of those being Republicans, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
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