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Polls give no respite to Trump’s candidacy for 2024

(CNN) — Donald Trump wants to run for president. But according to a new national poll from Quinnipiac University, many people wish it wasn’t.

Nearly six in 10 Americans (57%) said it’s a bad thing that Trump is running again, while just 34% said it’s a good thing.

Trump’s numbers among Democrats on that question are, not surprisingly, horrible, with 88% saying it’s a bad thing that he launched a White House campaign in 2024.

But that’s not what Trump should be concerned about. It’s his numbers among independents (58% say it’s bad for him to run) and even among Republicans (27% say it’s bad) that should worry the former president.

The simple fact that the Quinnipiac poll makes clear is that there is a sizable section of the public, and not just Democrats, who believes that another Trump presidential run is a bad idea for the country.

And that is by no means the only negative conclusion of the poll on Trump. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that not only are Republicans open to a Ron DeSantis run for the White House, but that the Florida governor poses a real threat to Trump.

Six in 10 Republicans said they would like to see DeSantis run for president, while about a quarter said they would not.

When asked who they would prefer to win the Republican Party nomination in 2024, 44% of Republicans chose DeSantis, the same percentage that chose Trump.

Pence and DeSantis sound like virtual rivals to Trump 2:23

Now this is a poll. But the data is the data. And what the data suggests is that not only would Trump be a weak candidate in the general election (those numbers among independents are, um, not good), but also that there is room in the Republican field for someone other than the former president.

As CNN’s Harry Enten recently wrote about Trump:

“He remains a force to be reckoned with in Republican Party circles, and news that the Justice Department has appointed a special counsel to oversee investigations involving the former president could spark a rallying effect around Trump among the Republicans. However, it is clear that their power within the party has diminished after the 2022 midterm elections.”

All true! And all worrisome for Trump loyalists who want to see him as their party’s nominee in 2024.

The point: Trump remains the favorite in the 2024 Republican field. But his grip on the party, and the country, is clearly less.

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