Poll Shows Trump Has the Most Support in a Crowded GOP Presidential Primary: ‘He Loves a Fight’

A new national poll indicates that a plurality of Republican voters still support former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, outperforming Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, if the GOP 2024 primary race includes multiple candidates.

Forty-five percent of Republican and Republican-leaning Independent voters questioned in an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist national poll released Thursday said they’d support Trump for the GOP nomination in a multi-candidate field, while 33% favored DeSantis, 8% backed former Vice President Mike Pence and 11% supported other potential candidates.

The findings add context to a Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday that indicated DeSantis polling ahead of Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup for the 2024 GOP nomination. That national survey also showed that Republican primary voters could hold a slightly more favorable opinion of DeSantis than Trump.

While Trump launched this third White House campaign a month ago, the field for the 2024 GOP nomination could become quite crowded by next year as a growing pool of Republican contenders continue to tease and make moves towards likely presidential runs in the aftermath of the midterm elections.

“I think it’s good for him [Trump] to have competition,” American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp told Fox News Digital. “I actually think the more people that get in could be better for him. He loves a fight. The more people that get in that want to antagonize him, like a Chris Christie or Larry Hogan, I think that’s good for President Trump.”

For over a year, DeSantis has routinely discounted talk of a 2024 White House run as he stayed focused on his 2022 gubernatorial re-election. However, he has become a major force in the GOP as he has built a political brand that stretches from coast to coast, and political prognosticators view him as a potential presidential contender.

The governor appeared to drop some 2024 hints during his election night victory speech last month.

“We have rewritten the political map,” DeSantis declared as he celebrated his landslide re-election. “While our country flounders due to failed leadership in Washington, Florida is on the right track.”

Two weeks later, he delivered a keynote address that received multiple standing ovations at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting, seen as the first major GOP 2024 presidential cattle call. There, the governor repeated his well-used pledge that “we’ve got a lot more to do, and I have only begun to fight.”

And as Fox News first reported recently, DeSantis will chronicle his life in public service in a new book that will be released in late February in what will be seen by political pundits as another step by the conservative champion toward a possible 2024 presidential run. The autobiography by DeSantis is titled “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.”

Writing a book is a traditional prelude by potential White House hopefuls ahead of launching a presidential campaign.

Despite President Biden signaling growing interest in a potential re-election bid in recent weeks, support for a second term is modest among Democratic voters.

The poll finds that only 35% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning Independent voters want President Biden as their nominee. Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary Pete Buttigieg were almost tied with 17% and 16% of voters favoring them for the Democratic nomination. Meanwhile, 27% of voters want someone else entirely.

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll was conducted from Dec. 6-8 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Reporting from Fox News.