Three-quarters of Iowa Republicans are confident Trump can beat Biden


A combined 75% of likely Republican Iowa caucusgoers say they are confident that former President Donald Trump can defeat President Joe Biden, including nearly half — 47% — who say they’re “almost certain” Trump can defeat Biden, according to a new NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll.

By comparison, 70% of those surveyed said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis can beat Biden, with 29% saying they’re “almost certain” that he can.

Sixty percent of likely GOP caucusgoers say that former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley can beat Biden in a general election, with 22% being “almost certain” that she can defeat the president.

Just 16% say they are “almost certain” Ramaswamy could defeat Biden next year, but an additional 29% say they are “fairly confident” he could win against the president.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie receives the lowest level of confidence from likely Iowa GOP caucusgoers, with just 10% saying they’re “almost certain” Christie could beat Biden and only an additional 15% saying they’re “fairly confident” he could defeat the president.

Many more of those surveyed — 41% — say that they’re almost certain Christie would lose to Biden. A quarter of poll respondents say the same about Ramaswamy, while 14% each say they are almost certain Haley or DeSantis would lose to Biden next year.

With the exception of Christie and Ramaswamy, pollster J. Ann Selzer said that poll respondents are expressing broad confidence that their candidates can beat Biden.

“These data would support a perception that Biden can be beat by any of the top three,” Selzer said.

Still, recent national polls find that Haley may have an easier shot at beating Biden, putting the opinions of Iowa Republicans at odds with that of the general electorate.

A November Marquette Law School survey found that Haley led Biden by 10 percentage points in a theoretical head-to-head matchup, while Trump led Biden by 4 points and DeSantis led Biden by just 2 points.

And a Wall Street Journal national poll released earlier this month showed an even starker divide between Iowa GOP voters and general election voters.

In that poll, Trump led Biden in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup by four percentage points, while DeSantis was tied with Biden and Haley led Biden by a whopping 17 points.

When asked specifically about the legal challenges and indictments facing Trump, Iowa Republicans maintain confidence in his general election strength.

Almost three quarters of those surveyed — 73% — agree with the statement, “Donald Trump can win an election against Joe Biden, regardless of his legal challenge.” Just 24% of the group agreed with the statement, “Donald Trump’s legal challenges will make it nearly impossible for him to win an election against Joe Biden.”

More Iowa Republicans have confidence that Trump could beat Biden next year than any other Republican presidential candidate.