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Former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis.Alex Brandon / AP ; Mario Tama / Getty Images

Poll: Trump and DeSantis continue to lead GOP field

59% of respondents in a new CNN poll say it's more important to nominate someone who shares their position than electability.


A new national CNN poll finds former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leading the GOP pack as other surveys have shown — with 40% of Republicans saying Trump is the candidate they’re most likely to support, followed by DeSantis at 36%, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at 6% and former VP Mike Pence at 6%. (No other listed Republican gets more than 2%). 

Notably, 40% of the respondents who picked a first choice said they were willing to change their minds.

When first and second choices were combined, it was: 

  • DeSantis 65%
  • Trump 59%
  • Pence 22%
  • Haley 15%
  • Mike Pompeo 9%

Strikingly, electability in 2024 is not front and center to most Republicans: 41% said it’s more important for the GOP to nominate a candidate with a strong chance of beating Biden, versus 59% who said it’s more important to nominate a candidate who shares their positions on major issues.

And on the issues, here were the responses when Republicans were asked which one issue will be most important in deciding their vote for the GOP nomination: the economy and economy-related matters (32%), immigration and border security (16%), and candidate-related issues like character and electability (13%).

The CNN/SSRS poll was conducted March 8-12 of 1,045 Republicans or GOP-leaning independents, and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.8% percentage points.