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Republican Main Street Partnership Unveils New Polling Data Ahead of GOP Presidential Debate

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RNC debate qualifying poll conducted by Echelon Insights shows Vivek Ramaswamy (15%) usurping Ron DeSantis for second place (11%); Trump maintains considerable lead (55%). Cost of living stands strong as top voter issue; abortion and mental health remain critical topic, especially among suburban women.

The Republican Main Street Partnership (RMSP), in conjunction with nationally recognized research firm Echelon Insights, released new polling data just days ahead of the first GOP presidential debate. With nationwide polling of 1,017 likely Republican primary voters, the data reveals some surprising new insights about top primary voter concerns and shows how political outsider Vivek Ramaswamy has climbed to a clear second place, ahead of the political veterans in the field. The poll was conducted with a sample and methodology that is in accordance with the RNC's criteria for debate qualifying polls.

"While Donald Trump remains the frontrunner, Republican voters seeking an alternative candidate are beginning to coalesce around a few top-tier choices. For much of the past year that was Gov. DeSantis, but Vivek Ramaswamy has risen well above expectations and is currently leading the pack of challengers," notes Sarah Chamberlain, RMSP President and CEO. "Voters are clearly hungry for something new - no group more than the suburban women who often decide elections. If Mr. Ramaswamy, Gov. DeSantis, or any of the other hopefuls want a serious chance at winning the nomination, appealing to those voters should be top priority." 

The poll was conducted August 15-17, 2023. Some key findings include:

  • Donald Trump is still the clear frontrunner for the GOP, garnering a majority of support among respondents (55%). He performed most strongly among non-college-educated individuals (61%), within the 50-64 age range (64%), among fathers (63%), and the most conservative voters (63%).
  • Vivek Ramaswamy (15%) has surged into second place with Ron DeSantis (12%) moving into third place. Ramaswamy has continued to rise in polls, performing particularly well among parents (20%) and suburban women (19%).
  • There is a steep dropoff following DeSantis with Mike Pence (4%), Nikki Haley (3%) and Tim Scott (3%) polling in the low single digits. The only other candidate to gain the support of at least 1% of respondents is Chris Christie at 1%. 
  • Top voter issues include cost of living (27%), political corruption (18%), jobs and the economy (15%), and immigration (15%). Cost of living is a particularly acute issue for GOP primary voters with 42% of mothers naming it as their top concern. The top concern for fathers is political corruption at 29%. 53% say that a candidate MUST share their views on cost of living in order to earn their vote - a higher percentage than seen for issues like taxes (42%), guns (40%), or abortion (35%).
  • By a two-to-one margin, likely Republican primary voters say that they believe Roe vs. Wade should have been overturned (59%) rather than upheld (30%). And while, in theory, they are averse to a federal approach to the issue, with 60% preferring the issue to be left to the states, when specifically asked about a federal policy limiting abortions around 17 weeks, 71% of our respondents said they would support such a policy.
  • Seven-in-10 respondents say they are dissatisfied with the education being provided by our nation's K-12 schools. When asked about mental health resources for children, it is mothers who are the most likely to say they are dissatisfied; 52% of respondents overall, including 59% of mothers say that they are dissatisfied with the mental health resources available to children.

METHODOLOGY: This survey was fielded from August 15-17, 2023 among a sample of N=1,017 likely 2024 Republican primary voters nationwide. Respondents were contacted through web sample providers and completed the survey online. The sample was matched to the L2 voter file to verify respondents' voter registration status and was weighted to population benchmarks for likely Republican primary voters nationwide on gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, and Census region. Calculated the way it would be for a random sample and adjusted to incorporate the effect of weighting, the margin of sampling error is ± 3.9 percentage points. This survey was conducted by Echelon Insights on behalf of the Republican Main Street Partnership.

ABOUT RMSP: The Republican Main Street Partnership (RMSP) encompasses a broad alliance of conservative, governing Republicans, including more than 85 sitting members in Congress. Led by President and CEO Sarah Chamberlain, RMSP is dedicated to working to enact common sense legislation that gets things done for the American people. RMSP's members run and win in the most highly contested swing districts in the country.

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For more information or to set up an interview with Sarah, please contact Elizabeth Aucamp at [email protected] or (704) 249-1430.

Contact Information:
Elizabeth Aucamp
Account Executive
[email protected]
(704) 249-1430


Original Source: Republican Main Street Partnership Unveils New Polling Data Ahead of GOP Presidential Debate
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