Thursday, March 2, 2023

Trump Republican Support Collapses in California

Trump and DeSantisPhoto: Getty Images

Although former President Donald Trump, like most recent Republicans, has not done well in California general elections, he swept the Republican primaries in both 2016 (75% against Kasich, Cruz, and others) and 2020 (92%). But today he is losing to Governor Ron DeSantis among Republican primary voters by 8 points, a dramatic reversal from August of 2022 when he was ahead by 9 points. It is also notable that 60 percent of these voters prefer DeSantis or some other candidates than Trump.

2024 Presidential Preferences Poll

He is still winning his high school-educated base by 15 points, but losing every other education category from some college and trade school education to post-graduate work (28 points). Trump and DeSantis are tied for support with Republican women (30%, DeSantis / 31% Trump) but men support DeSantis by 16 points (43% DeSantis to 27% Trump).

Trump’s support has contracted to his original base of the “least educated”. It mostly reflects the poor midterm election performance which gave him a reputation as a loser and cost him many of California’s Republicans who want a winning candidate.

Berkeley IGS Poll was conducted February 14-20, 2023, with 1,755 registered Republicans (± 3.5 percentage points).

Release #2023-02: Biden job ratings rebound in California, but most still oppose a re-election bid. DeSantis vaults ahead of Trump in state’s GOP presidential primary. (

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