Christie at 3% as Trump Dominates GOP Primary Field

Former EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg wonders if former Gov. Chris Christie would be a good choice after President Donald Trump passed over Congressman John Ratcliffe for the position of Director of National Intelligence.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a declared candidate for the U.S. presidency, clocks in with 3% of the vote (18% favorable and 55% unfavorable) among GOP-aligned and leaning voters in today’s Monmouth University Poll.

A majority of Republican voters say former Christie ally, President Donald Trump, would be their strongest nominee in the 2024 election and few feel the criminal indictments he faces are of any concern. According to the poll, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to paint himself as both a stronger candidate and a more effective leader than Trump have largely failed to connect with the GOP electorate.

When asked whom they would like to see as the Republican nominee for president in 2024, 46% of GOP-aligned and leaning voters name Trump and 20% name DeSantis without any prompting. In a primary ballot question that explicitly lists 14 announced candidates, Trump’s support increases to 54% while DeSantis’ vote share barely moves (22%) and no other candidate gets above 5%. In a head-to-head contest between just the two, Trump garners 55% support and DeSantis gets 35%. These results are similar to a Monmouth poll taken two months ago when DeSantis officially launched his campaign.

Half of Republican voters identify as a supporter of the MAGA movement (31% strongly and 21% somewhat). Trump commands the backing of 3 in 4 strong MAGA supporters and about half of those who support MAGA somewhat. In a head-to-head race, DeSantis (47%) has more backing than Trump (39%) among the 4 in 10 Republicans who do not support MAGA. However, the Florida governor loses about half of his non-MAGA vote share to others when the race involves a multi-candidate field.

“DeSantis has not made any headway. The arguments that he’d be a stronger candidate and a more effective president than Trump have both fallen flat,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Just 22% of Republican voters say that DeSantis would be a stronger candidate than Trump in a general election against incumbent President Joe Biden, but nearly twice as many (47%) say he would actually be weaker than Trump. Another 26% say DeSantis would be just as strong as Trump. On the question of governing, only 19% feel DeSantis would be more effective than Trump in running the country and getting his policies enacted, while 49% think Trump would be more effective than DeSantis. Another 30% say the two men would be equally as effective.

When considering the entire GOP field, nearly half (45%) of Republican voters – including those who lean toward the GOP – say Trump is definitely the strongest candidate to beat Biden in 2024, and another 24% think he is probably the strongest candidate. Just one-third of GOP voters say another Republican would definitely (13%) or probably (18%) be a stronger candidate than Trump. These results are nearly identical to a Monmouth poll taken in May.

Only 1 in 4 Republican voters express any real degree of concern (11% very and 16% somewhat) that the criminal indictments against Trump would make him a weaker candidate against Biden in the general election. In fact, nearly half (47%) are not at all concerned about these charges being a drag on Trump.

“Trump has successfully pushed a politics of grievance where the system is out to get you. In that light, the criminal charges seem to make him an even stronger advocate in the eyes of many Republicans,” said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll assessed GOP voters’ opinion of fourteen declared candidates for the party’s nomination in 2024. Republicans have an overwhelmingly positive view of Trump (77% favorable and 18% unfavorable), which has been fairly stable since Monmouth began tracking candidate ratings at the beginning of the year. DeSantis also gets a largely positive rating (65% favorable and 18% unfavorable), but this has steadily eroded from his top result of 80% favorable in February.

New Jersey presaged President Donald J. Trump's despotic rule
Christie

Views of Sen. Tim Scott (49% favorable and 7% unfavorable) and former Gov. Nikki Haley (42% favorable and 20% unfavorable) have been fairly stable, but about 4 in 10 Republican voters remain largely unfamiliar with either of these South Carolinians. Other candidates who are rated by at least half of the Republican electorate include former Vice President Mike Pence (35% favorable and 45% unfavorable) and former New Jersey Gov. Christie (18% favorable and 55% unfavorable). Pence’s rating was in net positive territory until the current poll. Christie’s rating has been negative from the start and has grown even more negative since the spring.

At least a third of Republican voters are familiar enough to rate business entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (32% favorable and 9% unfavorable), talk show host Larry Elder (28% favorable and 15% unfavorable), and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (15% favorable and 21% unfavorable). The remaining five candidates are rated by no more than 1 in 4 GOP voters: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (11% favorable and 9% unfavorable), former Texas Congressman Will Hurd (8% favorable and 11% unfavorable), Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (8% favorable and 17% unfavorable), business entrepreneur Perry Johnson (5% favorable and 9% unfavorable), and former Cranston, Rhode Island Mayor Steve Laffey (3% favorable and 9% unfavorable).

When all 14 candidates are included in a primary ballot test, none – other than Trump and DeSantis – get close to breaking out of single digits. The top performers in this group are Ramaswamy (5%), Christie (3%), Haley (3%), Pence (3%), and Scott (3%).

The poll also tested head-to-head contests between Trump and two other candidates – both of whom do worse than DeSantis in this scenario. Against Scott, Trump gets 72% and Scott only gets 23%. Against Christie, Trump gets 82% and Christie gets just 12%.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone and online from July 12 to 19, 2023 with 681 Republican and Republican leaning voters in the United States. The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 5.9 percentage points for the full sample. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

[Q1-22 from national poll of all adults previously released.]

23.    Looking ahead, who would you like to see as the Republican nominee for President in 2024? [OPEN-END QUESTION. LIST WAS NOT READ]

  TREND:

July2023

May2023

March2023

Feb.2023

Dec.2022

Donald Trump

46%

43%

41%

33%

26%

Ron DeSantis

20%

19%

27%

33%

39%

Vivek Ramaswamy

3%

1%

0%

0%

0%

Tim Scott

3%

3%

1%

<1%

<1%

Nikki Haley

2%

1%

3%

1%

1%

Chris Christie

1%

<1%

0%

0%

0%

Mike Pence

1%

3%

1%

2%

2%

Others

5%

7%

6%

7%

7%

(VOL) Don’t know

19%

23%

23%

24%

25%

(n)

(681)

(655)

(521)

(566)

(563)

24.    I’m going to read you the names of candidates running for president in the Republican Party.  Please tell me if your general impression of each is favorable or unfavorable, or if you don’t really have an opinion. If you have not heard of the person, just let me know. First, [READ NAME]. [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

      TREND:

Favorable

Unfavorable

No opinion

Notheard of

(n)

Former President Donald Trump

77%

18%

5%

0%

(681)

— May 2023

77%

17%

6%

0%

(655)

— March 2023

71%

21%

8%

0%

(521)

— Feb. 2023

74%

18%

8%

0%

(566)

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

65%

18%

13%

4%

(681)

— May 2023

73%

12%

11%

3%

(655)

— March 2023

76%

8%

11%

5%

(521)

— Feb. 2023

80%

6%

11%

3%

(566)

 

 

 

 

 

Former Vice President Mike Pence

35%

45%

19%

0%

(681)

— May 2023

46%

35%

18%

0%

(655)

— March 2023

42%

37%

21%

0%

(521)

— Feb. 2023

55%

28%

17%

0%

(566)

 

 

 

 

 

Former South Carolina Governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley

42%

20%

25%

13%

(681)

— May 2023

47%

16%

23%

14%

(655)

— March 2023

45%

16%

23%

16%

(521)

— Feb. 2023

47%

11%

22%

19%

(566)

 

 

 

 

 

Business entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy

32%

9%

23%

37%

(681)

— May 2023

22%

6%

26%

46%

(655)

— March 2023

17%

6%

28%

49%

(521)

— Feb. 2023

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

 

 

 

 

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott

49%

7%

26%

18%

(681)

— May 2023

44%

8%

28%

20%

(655)

— March 2023

43%

6%

31%

20%

(521)

— Feb. 2023

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

 

 

 

 

Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson

15%

21%

33%

31%

(681)

— May 2023

17%

14%

35%

35%

(655)

— March 2023

18%

9%

45%

29%

(521)

— Feb. 2023

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

 

 

 

 

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

18%

55%

20%

7%

(681)

— May 2023

21%

47%

24%

8%

(655)

— March 2023

24%

42%

28%

6%

(521)

— Feb. 2023

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

(Note: there are no prior trends on the following candidates, except Laffey)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez

8%

17%

33%

41%

(681)

 

 

 

 

 

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum

11%

9%

31%

49%

(681)

 

 

 

 

 

Former Texas Congressman Will Hurd

8%

11%

35%

46%

(681)

 

 

 

 

 

Radio talk show host Larry Elder

28%

15%

29%

28%

(681)

 

 

 

 

 

Business entrepreneur Perry Johnson

5%

9%

26%

61%

(681)

 

 

 

 

 

Former Cranston, RI Mayor Steve Laffey

3%

9%

27%

61%

(681)

— March 2023

4%

8%

34%

55%

(521)

 

 

 

 

 

25.    Of the 14 candidates I just asked about, which one do you most support for the Republican nomination? [LIST WAS READ ONLY IF NEEDED]

  TREND:

July2023

Donald Trump

54%

Ron DeSantis

22%

Mike Pence

3%

Nikki Haley

3%

Vivek Ramaswamy

5%

Tim Scott

3%

Asa Hutchinson

<1%

Chris Christie

3%

Francis Suarez

<1%

Doug Burgum

1%

Will Hurd

<1%

Larry Elder

<1%

Perry Johnson

1%

Steve Laffey

<1%

(VOL) None of these

2%

(VOL) Don’t know

4%

(n)

(681)

[QUESTIONS 26-28 WERE ROTATED]

26.    Who would you choose if the candidates for the Republican nomination were Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

  TREND:

July2023

May2023

March2023

Feb.2023

Trump

55%

56%

47%

40%

DeSantis

35%

35%

46%

53%

(VOL) Neither

2%

3%

2%

2%

(VOL) Don’t know

7%

6%

5%

5%

(n)

(681)

(655)

(521)

(566)

27.    Who would you choose if the candidates for the Republican nomination were Donald Trump and Tim Scott? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

July2023

Trump

72%

Scott

23%

(VOL) Neither

1%

(VOL) Don’t know

4%

(n)

(681)

28.    Who would you choose if the candidates for the Republican nomination were Donald Trump and Chris Christie? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

July2023

Trump

82%

Christie

12%

(VOL) Neither

2%

(VOL) Don’t know

4%

(n)

(681)

29.    Regardless of whether you currently support Donald Trump, which of the following statements comes closest to your view about which Republican has the best chance to win in 2024:  Donald Trump is definitely the strongest candidate to beat Joe Biden, Donald Trump is probably the strongest candidate to beat Joe Biden, another Republican would probably be a stronger candidate than Trump, or another Republican would definitely be a stronger candidate than Trump?

  TREND:

July2023

May2023

Trump definitely strongest

45%

45%

Trump probably strongest

24%

18%

Another Republican probably stronger

18%

19%

Another Republican definitely stronger

13%

13%

(VOL) Don’t know

1%

4%

(n)

(681)

(655)

30.    In a general election against Joe Biden, would Ron DeSantis be just as strong a candidate as Donald Trump would be, would DeSantis be stronger than Trump, or would DeSantis be weaker than Trump?

July2023

Just as strong as Trump

26%

Stronger than Trump

22%

Weaker than Trump

47%

(VOL) Don’t know

5%

(n)

(681)

31.    How concerned are you that the criminal indictments against Donald Trump would make him a weaker candidate against Joe Biden in the general election – very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?

July2023

Very concerned

11%

Somewhat concerned

16%

Not too concerned

25%

Not at all concerned

47%

(VOL) Don’t know

2%

(n)

(681)

32.    Who do you think would be more effective as president in running the country and getting his policies enacted – Ron DeSantis or Donald Trump – or would they be equally as effective? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

July2023

DeSantis

19%

Trump

49%

Equal

30%

(VOL) Don’t know

2%

(n)

(681)

33.    Would you describe yourself as a born-again or evangelical Christian, or not?

  TREND:

July2023

May2023

March2023

Yes

50%

55%

53%

No

48%

42%

46%

(VOL) Don’t know

2%

3%

1%

(n)

(681)

(655)

(521)

34.    Would you describe yourself as a supporter of the MAGA movement, or not? [If YES: Do you support MAGA strongly or just somewhat?]

  TREND:

July2023

March2023

Supporter, strong

31%

38%

Supporter, somewhat

21%

28%

Not a supporter

39%

28%

(VOL) Don’t know

9%

6%

(n)

(681)

(521)

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from July 12 to 19, 2023 with a probability-based national random sample of 681 registered voters who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. Interviews were conducted in English, and included 198 live landline telephone interviews, 236 live cell phone interviews, 237 online surveys via a cell phone text invitation, and 10 online surveys via an email invitation. Telephone numbers were selected through a mix of random digit dialing and list-based sampling. Landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, with sample obtained from Dynata (RDD, n= 232), Aristotle (list, n= 355) and a panel of prior Monmouth poll participants (n= 94). Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on voter list and US Census information (ACS 2021 one-year survey). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 5.9 percentage points adjusted for sample design effects (1.56). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)

Self-Reported

46% Strong Republican

16% Republican, not strong

38% Independent, lean Rep.

 

53% Male

47% Female

 

16% 18-34

23% 35-49

32% 50-64

29% 65+

 

80% White

11% Hispanic

  9% Black/Asian/Other

 

40% High school or less

32% Some college

28% 4 year degree

MARGIN OF ERROR

unweighted  sample

moe(+/-)

TOTAL

 

681

5.9%

SELF-REPORTED PARTY ID

Strong Rep.

311

8.7%

Rep., not strong

121

13.9%

Indep., lean Rep.

249

9.7%

IDEOLOGY

Very conservative

272

9.3%

Somewhat conserv.

214

10.5%

Moderate

191

11.1%

EVANGELICAL

Yes

285

9.1%

No

383

7.8%

MAGA SUPPORTER

Strong

200

10.8%

Somewhat

144

12.8%

No

282

9.1%

AGE

18-49

200

10.8%

50-64

237

9.9%

65+

238

9.9%

INCOME

<$50K

149

12.5%

$50 to <$100K

185

11.3%

$100K+

301

8.8%

REGION

South, Gulf states

263

9.4%

Midwest, Mountain

201

10.8%

Northeast, West Coast

217

10.4%

GENDER

Male

403

7.6%

Female

278

9.2%

RACE

White, non-Hispanic

595

6.3%

Other

77

17.4%

COLLEGE GRADUATE

No degree

336

8.4%

4 year degree

342

8.3%

 

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One response to “Christie at 3% as Trump Dominates GOP Primary Field”

  1. Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray has shown his true colors as a leftist-Communist, anti-Trump, anti-Conservative. He claims that his Monmouth U. Polling Institute is independent. Murray is a liar. Every poll taken by Monmouth U. Polling has always been left-leaning. His polling institute is not credible.

    Murray makes the following insane left-wing rhetoric: “Trump has successfully pushed a politics of grievance where the system is out to get you. In that light, the criminal charges seem to make him an even stronger advocate in the eyes of many Republicans.”

    I guess Murray has never faced a one-sided court system in his life. He speaks from NO experience. I for one spent 20 years fighting in the NJ family courts. Want to talk about a one-sided politically motivated court? Get entangled in family court. When the Court is against you 90-95% of the time, the system is REALLY out to get you. Trump is not pushing politics of grievance. He is showing the rest of us what Legal Abuse Syndrome is. It is the constant, sustained attacks against a person or group of people to force them to accept bogus charges or financially ruin them. Fortunately for us Americans, Trump is a very wealthy man, and can sustain the legal assault upon him. When he wins these fraudulent legal battles against him, that, besides taking down America’s enemies in Washington, D.C., he recoups his financial losses in legal fees.

    And, promoting Chris Christie as the Don Quixote of Trump-bashing is a waste of time, political resources and taxpayers’ monies. Christie knows he’s going to lose, but he continues on in his attempt to bash Trump. Christie already got his proverbial *ss beaten once by Trump. Christie is not well liked in any political circle. He should just give it up, instead of trying to make a name for himself and his lobbying firm to obtain future business.

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