Trump holds wide lead in Republican 2024 nominating contest

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Claremont, New Hampshire, U.S., November 11, 2023. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

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By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Donald Trump maintains his dominant position in the 2024 Republican presidential nominating contest, drawing the support of more than half of the party’s voters, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll completed on Monday.

The poll found that 61% of self-identified Republicans said they would vote for the former U.S. president in the state-by-state nominating contest to pick a challenger to Democratic President Joe Biden.

None of his rivals were anywhere close. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley were each backed by 11% of self-identified Republicans.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy stood at 5%, while former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got 2% and 8% said they were undecided.

The first ballots of the 2024 U.S. elections will be cast in Iowa’s Republican caucus on Jan. 15.

The poll found little evidence that Republican voters are swayed by the battery of federal and state criminal charges Trump faces.

Fewer than one-quarter of Republican respondents said they believed accusations that Trump solicited election fraud or solicited a mob of his supporters to attack the U.S Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 – two of the central charges in a federal criminal case due to go to trial at the height of the state-by-state nominating contest.

The poll also found few signs that Republican voters opposed to Trump are rallying around one of his rivals. Haley’s position has improved since September, when a Reuters/Ipsos poll found her tied for fourth place at 4%.

But she and the other candidates have only fallen farther behind Trump, who had the backing of 51% of Republicans in that poll.

The online poll of 1,689 self-identified Republican was conducted between Dec. 5 and Dec. 11. It has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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