After the recent Milwaukee debate, a new Emerson College Polling survey reveals a decline in support for former President Donald Trump among GOP primary voters. From an initial 56 percent before the debate, Trump’s support dipped to 50 percent, marking the lowest in Emerson’s national polls to date.
On the flip side, several of Trump’s contenders experienced a surge in their ratings. Post-debate, Ron DeSantis increased to 12 percent from the previous 10 percent. Similarly, Mike Pence increased from 3 percent to 7 percent, Nikki Haley from 2 percent to 7 percent, and Chris Christie from 3 percent to 5 percent. Vivek Ramaswamy, however, experienced a slight decline from 10 percent to 9 percent.
Addressing these shifts, Spencer Kimball, the Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, commented on the potential implications for the GOP race. “Is this a temporary decrease for Trump, or will other Republican contenders gain enough traction for the upcoming caucus and primary season?” Kimball said. He highlighted a notable drop in steadfast Trump supporters from 82 percent before the debate to 71 percent afterward. DeSantis’s definite supporters also reduced from 32 percent to 25 percent, while Ramaswamy’s loyal supporter base remained relatively stable, shifting only slightly from 47 percent to 45 percent.
Regarding hypothetical scenarios, Kimball mentioned, “If Trump were excluded from the GOP ballot, his supporters largely divide between DeSantis with 32 percent and Ramaswamy at 29 percent and Pence securing 16 percent. This scenario suggests a potential DeSantis-Ramaswamy face-off if Trump chooses not to run.” Nonetheless, Kimball emphasized that Trump currently holds an advantage over Biden due to Cornel West’s third-party run and widespread disapproval of the Biden administration’s handling of the Maui wildfires.
The next Republican debate will be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on September 27 in Simi Valley, California.
The debate will be moderated by Fox Business personality Stuart Varney, host of “The Five” Dana Perino, and Ilia Calderón of the Spanish network UNIVISION.