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Trump widens lead over DeSantis in new national poll

Former President Trump has widened his lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in a new national poll of the 2024 GOP primary field.

The Messenger/Harris poll released Thursday shows Trump leading the Republican primary field with 68 percent support, followed by DeSantis at just 9 percent. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley received 7 percent support, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy brought in 4 percent.

The former president is up 6 points from a separate Messenger/Harris poll released earlier this month, which showed him with 62 percent support. DeSantis is down 3 points from 12 percent.

All other GOP candidates in the latest results received 1 percent or less support, as the party heads toward the Iowa caucuses in January — the official beginning of primary voting season.

Trump has long held a significant lead over his fellow Republican competitors, while DeSantis has been considered his closest challenger. Recent polling has shown Haley gaining momentum, threatening the Florida governor’s second-place slot — but some observers have shrugged at the notion that either Haley or DeSantis can threaten Trump’s front-runner status.

Qualifying candidates are set to appear on stage next week for the GOP’s fourth primary debate. The event, held in Tuscaloosa, Ala., will be hosted by NewsNation. NewsNation and The Hill are owned by Nexstar Media Group.

Trump is planning to skip the debate — as he did the first three — and hold a private fundraiser in Florida instead, a source familiar with the plans confirmed to The Hill.

Thursday’s poll also found Trump leading President Biden, the Democratic incumbent, with 46 percent to 42 percent support, with 13 percent undecided.

The poll of 4,003 registered voters, conducted by Harris X from Nov. 22-28, had a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6 percentage points.

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