A significant majority of Republican voters believe former President Donald Trump is the primary candidate most capable of defeating President Joe Biden in a general election matchup, according to a Monmouth Poll released Tuesday.
The poll shows 45% of Republican voters say Trump is “definitely” the strongest candidate to beat Biden and another 18% say Trump is “probably” the most formidable candidate. A paltry 19% of Republican primary voters think another candidate is “probably” the strongest and 13% think another candidate is “definitely” the best option against Biden. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: DeSantis Picks Up Four More New Hampshire State Rep Endorsements)
Monmouth Poll: Which Republican has the best chance to defeat Joe Biden? (655 GOP reg. voters)
Donald Trump — 63%
Someone else — 32%
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) May 30, 2023
Those polled who support Trump are more optimistic about the former president’s chances, with 74% stating that Trump is definitely the strongest candidate and 21% saying he probably is. Of the voters who support a different candidate or have yet to decide, 40% rate Trump as the strongest candidate and 55% believe another contender would be more suitable to defeat Biden.
“If your main argument to Republican voters is that Trump wouldn’t be the party’s strongest nominee, you’ve got a heck of a challenge ahead of you,” Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said. The poll showed 43% of Republicans support Trump and 19% back DeSantis. In a head-to-head matchup, 56% of respondents would pick Trump and 35% would choose DeSantis, Monmouth found.
The poll was conducted online and via telephone from May 18-24 with 655 Republican and Republican-leaning respondents. It has a margin of error of 5.5 percentage points either way for the full sample.
Monmouth’s results track with the RealClearPolitics (RCP) general election polling averages for Trump and DeSantis against Biden. The RCP average for Trump against Biden shows the Republican frontrunner leading by 1.4%, compared to DeSantis leading Biden by 0.6% in the RCP average select polls recorded from April 11 to May 22.
DeSantis announced his Republican presidential campaign on May 24 during a Twitter space with CEO Elon Musk and entrepreneur David Sacks. The campaign raised $8.2 million in its first 24 hours despite technical difficulties on Twitter. DeSantis is expected to be Trump’s most formidable challenger for the Republican nomination.