A Fox News panel saw participants marveling over the “enormous” popularity of Donald Trump as they analyzed a new poll showing him expanding an already sizeable lead over the rest of the GOP field for 2024.
The poll shows the former President with a massive 30-point lead over his nearest competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
While DeSantis has yet to formally declare, it has to be somewhat disheartening to see that he is making very little headway in polling.
When asked to choose from a list of potential Republican candidates, 54 percent of respondents went with Trump while just 24 percent chose DeSantis.
Following the two clear frontrunners were former Vice President Mike Pence (6 percent), former congresswoman Liz Cheney (3 percent), and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (3 percent).
“The survey, released Wednesday, finds Trump has doubled his lead since February and is up by 30 points over Ron DeSantis (54%-24%). Last month, he was up by 15 (43%-28%).”
Fox News Poll: Trump’s lead grows in GOP primary race, now over 50% support https://t.co/VCDJx2I7oK
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) March 30, 2023
RELATED: They Keep Saying Trump Can’t Beat Biden in 2024 – This Poll Says He’s the ONLY One Who Can
Trump Widens Lead in Yet Another 2024 Poll
One thing is clear – no matter what you might think of Trump’s strategy to go after DeSantis and go after him hard – from a political standpoint, it’s working.
The latest Fox News poll coincides with others showing that Trump is expanding his lead for the 2024 nomination at a steady pace.
A poll from the same outfit last month had Trump’s lead over DeSantis at 15 points. He very quickly doubled that.
2024 Republican primary polling trends by Morning Consult
• Trump — 45% (+11)
• DeSantis — 34%
• Trump — 48% (+18)
• DeSantis — 30%
• Trump — 52% (+24)
• DeSantis — 28%
• Trump — 54% (+28)
• DeSantis — 26% pic.twitter.com/wh35GXRYII
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) March 21, 2023
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On Wednesday’s “Special Report” with host Bret Baier, the panel couldn’t help but take notice.
“The lead has expanded noticeably,” said political analyst Brit Hume. “Anybody looking at that now as a Republican candidate would have to find it pretty daunting to see a guy sitting well above 50% and nobody else really near him.”
Byron York of the Washington Examiner noted that while DeSantis is well-liked in his state of Florida, it isn’t necessarily translating on a national stage within the party.
“This new Fox News poll does show that Trump is extremely popular with the Republican base and the Republican Party,” he said.
“And so far, Desantis is not even formally running – that doesn’t exist,” added York. “Trump is enormously popular – far more so than Desantis in the Republican Party across the country.”
RELATED: Sarah Palin Offers Advice to DeSantis: Stay Out of Trump’s Way in 2024
DeSantis May Want to Reconsider
The poll shows that while Republican officials aren’t exactly lining up to support Trump in 2024, the voters themselves have never wavered.
The New York Times in January contacted all 168 members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and found just four who were willing to endorse Trump as the party’s nominee.
We contacted all 168 RNC members. Just four offered an unabashed endorsement of Mr. Trump’s 2024 campaign. My latest with @reidepstein https://t.co/2lXHuHLDio
— Lisa Lerer (@llerer) January 26, 2023
The latest polling number might give DeSantis pause on whether or not he actually challenges Trump.
The Political Insider’s Wayne Dupree analyzed a report indicating the governor is shifting tactics in response to the poll numbers. And there is evidence he is now starting to fight back against some of the criticism being lobbed by Team Trump.
DeSantis, comparing styles to Trump: ‘The way we run the government I think is no daily drama, focus on the big picture and put points on the board and I think that’s something that’s very important.’ https://t.co/CXuiQ3nC6D
— Byron York (@ByronYork) March 22, 2023
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin advised DeSantis not to step in the ring in 2024.
“DeSantis doesn’t need to [run]. I envision him as our president someday but not right now,” she said. “He should stay governor for a bit longer.”
Palin added, “When you talk about the specific people, the individual people who are looking at putting their hat in the ring… they got a lot of guts thinking they’re gonna go up against Trump.”
‘A LOT OF GUTS’: Palin has very clear message for DeSantis ahead of potential 2024 run. https://t.co/SrvjilQq7Q pic.twitter.com/KLLaWLyCOE
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 23, 2023
Perhaps rather than announcing his own campaign in the coming weeks, DeSantis should consider uniting the Republican base to go after the actual enemy of the country – Joe Biden and the Democrats – by announcing his support for Trump.
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I want to see a Trump/DeSantis ticket.
Desantis needs to step down this time around. This election is about one man and his followers getting vengeance on the scum that stole the election and is destroying the country. DeSantis could be a good candidate in ’28 but he needs to step out of this one, or not step in it.
Why should this be any surprise? I stopped watching Fox news and won’t pay the faux rnc a dime. My contributions go to the candidate, in this case President Trump.
Trump has over 74 million registered voters that will back him! Period!
Senate needs new leadership. As a person of common sense, I believe Ron Johnson is the only senator worthy of voters trust and support. He is like Joseph and needs to lead the senate.