Fox Business Poll: Trump over 50% support for first time in Iowa

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Former President Donald Trump leads by 34 points in a new Fox Business survey of Iowa Republicans, as likely caucus-goers say they want a candidate who is a strong leader, has stamina, and can win against President Joe Biden. 

Here are the results: 52% of likely GOP caucus-goers support Trump, putting him over 50% for the first time. Next, it’s Ron DeSantis at 18% and Nikki Haley at 16%.

Vivek Ramaswamy receives 7% and Chris Christie gets 3%.  Ryan Binkley and Asa Hutchinson receive less than 1% each. 

Compared to September, support for Trump is up by 6 points, DeSantis is up 3 and Haley is up 5, while both Ramaswamy and Christie held steady. Several candidates suspended their campaign since then, including Tim Scott and Mike Pence.

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There’s still a chance for more movement in the race, with nearly one-third of Iowa Republicans saying they may change their minds. To be clear, however, far more Haley (43%) and DeSantis backers (39%) are uncertain about their choice than Trump supporters (16%).  

Fully 83% of those backing Trump say their minds are made up.

In addition, two-thirds of Iowa GOP caucus-goers would be satisfied if Trump (65%) were the party’s nominee, while just under half say the same if DeSantis (48%) or Haley (45%) were at the top of the ticket.

Flipping the issue, more voters would be so dissatisfied they say they’d stay home in November if Haley is the GOP candidate (21%) than feel that way about Trump (18%) or DeSantis (16%).

“Iowa caucus-goers have looked at the non-Trump candidates and said no thank you,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts Fox Business surveys with Republican Daron Shaw. “Neither DeSantis nor Haley has made the kind of inroads over the past two months that they would need to challenge Trump — and with less than a month to go, time is running short.”

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Haley’s best groups include moderates, infrequent church attenders, those wanting a candidate who will work across party lines, and those believing Trump did something illegal regarding the 2020 election.

DeSantis gets some of his highest support from men with a college degree, immigration voters, regular churchgoers, and those prioritizing electability.

Plus, more DeSantis supporters (67%) than Trump (56%) and Haley supporters (50%) say they will “definitely” attend their caucus.

Some of Trump’s largest numbers come from voters without a college degree, those under age 35, very conservatives, immigration voters, and those wanting a rule-breaker. He does 7 points better among women than men (56% vs. 49%). 

“Among Iowa Republicans, the bottom-line is Trump is still king of the hill,” says Shaw. “As for November, he seems to have less appeal among moderate and independent Republicans, but what he loses there he gains by revving up the base like no one else.” 

Majorities of Iowa Republicans are looking for a candidate who is a strong leader (78% extremely important), has the stamina and mental ability to serve (77%), and can defeat Biden (76%). 

On each of those three top traits, Trump is ahead by nearly 40 points. 

Those qualities outrank having a nominee who cares about people like them (63%), and shares their views (59%), won’t embarrass themselves or the country (52%), will work across party lines (41%), and will break the rules to get things done (15%). 

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On the traits, Trump’s biggest advantages are among caucus-goers saying it’s extremely important to support a candidate who is willing to break rules (+71 points), cares about them (+49), and shares their views (+47).  His narrowest leads, although still substantial, are among those wanting one who won’t be an embarrassment (+27) and works across party lines (+25).

DeSantis does best on the qualities of leadership and electability, while Haley gets her highest support on bipartisanship and respectability. 

More GOP caucus-goers prioritize economic issues (38%) than immigration (27%), foreign policy and defense (12%), social issues such as abortion and gender in school and sports (10%), or populist issues such as corruption and corporate activism (6%). 

Since July, those prioritizing immigration is up by 12 points, while the portion saying social issues is down by 5. 

Trump has large leads among both economy voters (+33 points) and immigration voters (+43).

Poll-pourri

By a 50-19% margin, Iowa GOP caucus-goers think the U.S. should play a less active rather than more active role in solving problems in the world, with 26% preferring the current role.  Those backing Trump (59% less active) and DeSantis (52%) are about twice as likely as Haley supporters (27%) to favor a smaller U.S. role in global affairs.

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A majority of 58% think Trump didn’t do anything “seriously wrong,” related to January 6 and other efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and he gets 77% support among that group.  

Plus, he only trails DeSantis by 3 points among the 21% who say he did something wrong, but not illegal (31% DeSantis, 28% Trump, 23% Haley, 15% Ramaswamy).

Haley leads by more than 40 points among those believing Trump’s actions were illegal, but there are only 16% of them. 

Conducted December 14-18, 2023, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox Business Poll includes interviews with Iowa registered voters randomly selected from a statewide voter file and spoke with live interviewers on landlines and cellphones. Respondents were screened to identify 804 likely participants in the 2024 Iowa Republican caucuses. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.

Read the full article here

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