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Fox News Poll: Trump still top 2024 Republican preference, DeSantis slipping

Former President Donald Trump maintains his advantage in the 2024 Republican presidential nomination race, as support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis falls for the second month in a row, according to a new Fox News survey. In addition, President Biden bests his challengers in the survey’s first test of a Democratic nomination contest. 

Biden gets the backing of 62% of Democratic primary voters, far ahead of Robert Kennedy Jr. at 19% and Marianne Williamson at 9%. His opponents are most successful in peeling away support among women and Gen Xers, keeping Biden in the mid-fifties among both groups.

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Fox News poll democratic primary

Fox News poll on the Democratic presidential race. (Fox News)

Among Republican primary voters, Trump leads with 53% support, followed by DeSantis at 21%, Mike Pence at 6%, Nikki Haley at 4%, Vivek Ramaswamy at 3%, and Tim Scott and Liz Cheney at 2% each. Greg Abbott, Chris Christie, Larry Elder, Chris Sununu and Glenn Youngkin garner 1% apiece. Asa Hutchinson, Kristi Noem and Francis Suarez get less than 1%.

Since February, Trump is up 10 points, while DeSantis is down 7.

Fox News Poll Republican primary

Fox News poll on the Republican presidential race. (Fox News)

GOP primary voters with a college degree give DeSantis some of his best numbers, while Trump leads by a wide margin among those without a degree. 

Among self-identified 2020 Trump voters, 57% still support him, while 21% prefer DeSantis, 6% Pence and 3% each for Haley and Ramaswamy. Sixty-five percent of Biden’s 2020 voters back him, 15% go for Kennedy and 9% favor Williamson.

Trump announced his campaign on Nov. 15, 2022, while Biden made his bid official on Tuesday.

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The poll finds that about the same number say they plan to participate in the Democratic (39%) and GOP (41%) primary or caucus in their state.

“At the moment, Trump’s position in the Republican contest is only marginally worse than Biden’s position in the Democratic contest,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News poll with Democrat Chris Anderson. “That’s likely to change, but it underscores the reticence of partisans on either side to risk moving away from the frontrunner.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, and former President Donald Trump

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, and former President Donald Trump. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images | Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Biden’s personal ratings are underwater, yet he still gets higher favorable ratings than many in the GOP field.

Currently, 44% have a favorable view of Biden. That’s down from 54% in April 2021. His negative rating stands at 56%, up from 44% in 2021.  

For a candidate, that 10-point decline in favorability over the last two years could mean trouble for Biden, as it mainly comes from significant drops among women (-16 points) and voters under age 35 (-21 points), contributing to a 16-point decline among Democrats.  

“Biden’s declining favorability among women and younger voters could be problematic if it leads to lower turnout next November,” says Anderson. “But with the Republican candidates trying to out-extreme each other on abortion, guns and LGBT issues, it will become crystal clear to these constituencies that a vote for Biden is essential to the issues they care about.”

Notably, none of the people tested get positive ratings from at least 50 percent of the electorate.

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And while Biden’s favorability is underwater by 12 points, more view Pence negatively than positively by 16 points and Trump by 13. DeSantis is in negative territory by only 4 points.

Except for Hutchinson, each GOP candidate included in the poll has a net positive rating among Republicans, although there are large differences. Trump does best, receiving a net positive favorable score of +61 points. That makes him more beloved within the party than DeSantis (+48 points), Haley (+28), Pence (+16), Scott (+15), Ramaswamy (+13), and Hutchinson (-11).  

Overall, 43% of voters and 80% of Republicans have a favorable view of Trump.  For Biden, it’s 44% favorable overall and 79% among Democrats.  

Many either have no opinion or have never heard of Ramaswamy (61%), Hutchinson (59%) and Scott (48%).

Vice President Kamala Harris’ rating is negative by 16 points, with 41% of voters viewing her favorably and 57% unfavorably. About three-quarters of Democrats view her positively (73%).

Pollpourri

Voters think partisan politics is behind the congressional investigations into Hunter Biden’s business dealings with foreign governments (70%) and the lawsuit Trump faces in New York about potential violations of federal campaign finance laws (64%). 

Fox News poll Trump Biden investigations

Fox News poll on the investigations into former President Donald Trump and Hunter Biden. (Fox News)

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About one in five (22%) say Trump hasn’t done anything seriously wrong in the New York case. But nearly half believe he did something illegal (45%) and another third (31%) say something unethical. 

For Hunter Biden, 14% think he didn’t do anything seriously wrong, while 44% think he did something illegal and 36% say something unethical. 

Most Republicans say the president’s son did something illegal (71%) and believe the congressional investigation is motivated by politics (65%). Most Democrats also think the investigations are political (77%), but think he either did something unethical (47%) or nothing wrong (24%).  

Among Democrats, most say Trump did something illegal (74%) and over half say the Trump lawsuit is political (54%). Most Republicans think the Trump lawsuit is political (75%), and most think his actions were unethical (41%) or he did nothing wrong (43%).

Some 20% of Democrats say Hunter did something illegal, while 13% of Republicans say the same of Trump. 

CLICK HERE FOR TOPLINE AND CROSS TABS

Conducted April 21-24, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News poll includes interviews with 1,004 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for all registered voters and plus or minus 5% points for Democratic primary voters and 4.5% points for Republican primary voters.

Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.

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