Trump’s choice to miss the GOP debates may be making him reconsider his course of action, as a recent survey shows that his popularity has significantly declined. After the first debate, a new survey from Emerson College Polling reveals a significant decline in support for the outgoing president. Trump’s lead among Republican voters shrank from 56% to 50% of the vote.

It was reported by Emerson College Polling that this decline represents “the lowest support to date for the former President in Emerson national polls.” Changes in support for other Republican candidates were also noted by the study. Support for Ron DeSantis increased from 10% to 12%, and Mike Pence’s share increased from 3% to 7%. Significant increases were also seen for Chris Christie (up from 2 to 5 percent) and Nikki Haley (up from 2 to 7 percent). With the exception of Trump, no contender suffered a decline in support other than Vivek Ramaswamy, who slipped from 10% to 9%.

The executive director of Emerson College Polling, Spencer Kimball, noted that support for Trump had weakened since the last poll. “There is a possibility that a race between DeSantis and Ramaswamy could emerge if Trump chooses not to run,” Kimball stated. “When Trump is removed from the GOP ballot test, his voters split between DeSantis at 32 percent and Ramaswamy at 29 percent, with Pence at 16 percent.”

Still, Trump doesn’t seem to be phased by the latest polling data. He recently addressed the issue and attacked Ron DeSantis on his social media platform, Truth Social. In his statement, Trump alluded to reports that Ron DeSantis was considering a run for the Florida Senate against Rick Scott instead of continuing in the presidential contest.

The public is closely examining Trump’s chances of winning a second term at the moment the poll results are released. As reported by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 77 percent of Americans believe that President Trump, who will turn 82 in a few months, is too elderly to serve a second term. 51 percent of respondents think he is too elderly to serve another term.

These poll results provide insight into the dynamic changes in Republican voter preferences as the 2024 election season approaches, as well as the possible effects of Trump’s actions on his own candidacy and the race as a whole.