Polling News

What Republicans Want In 2024

March 23, 2023

With what is shaping up to be a contentious nominating process for the GOP over the coming 15 months, CNN and SSRS released a new poll providing insight into the thought process of Republicans and Republican-aligned independents. 

Why It Matters: The field of Republican contenders for the nation’s highest office will grow in the months to come; this survey gives some insight into the lanes that exist and the opportunities that available to those who run.

The survey’s topline comes in the weight of ideology over electability. A majority of those polled (59%) prefer a candidate who agrees with their views on major issues versus a candidate who has a strong chance to beat incumbent President Joe Biden. The survey found several key areas where GOP voters align and where they are split. 

By The Numbers:

  • 85% of those polled believe it is essential or important for a future nominee to restore the policies of the Trump administration; only 15% view this as unimportant.
  • 97% believe it is important that the nominee attract support from outside the GOP tent.
  • 70% believe that candidates should pledge to support the eventual nominee regardless of who it may be, while 30% don’t believe that pledge should be necessary. 
  • 58% believe former President Trump has had a good effect on the GOP; 28% disagree, while 14% believe he hasn’t made much of a difference. 
  • If Trump were the nominee, 55% of rural voters would be enthusiastic, compared to 45% of urban voters, and only 38% of suburban Republicans.

What It Means: Republican voters would like to see a nominee who stands with them on their principles. The GOP witnessed two years of a Biden White House, and this has affected their view of the country’s future. The belief that America’s best days are ahead has dropped 47 points since 2019 to just 30%. Despite disappointing outcomes for Republicans in 2022 and his loss in 2020, GOP voters still believe the former President had a positive effect on their party. Still, there may be an opening in contrasting that with the view of the overwhelming majority who see the importance of a nominee who attracts support from outside the party. A candidate who does that while advocating the popular elements of the Trump presidency is what Republicans want in a nominee. 

The Bottom Line: Those in the race or about to join it should look closely at what Republicans have indicated they want in the party’s future leader. There are multiple lanes still available within the field; a candidate can occupy more than one. There are plenty of winning opportunities.

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