New Poll: Trump takes big hit among Republican voters; Biden and Trump both suffer huge political damage


September 29, 2021
CONTACT: Sarah Tinsley, Director
John Bolton SuperPAC
[email protected]

National security failure shakes up the 2024 Republican Primary as Trump falls into a virtual tie with Ron DeSantis.

Washington D.C. – A new national survey conducted by John Bolton Super PAC of likely voters revealed huge political damage for both Donald Trump and Joe Biden stemming from the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. The deepest impact for Trump was suffering a stunning 20-point drop with 2024 Republican primary voters (46% in July to 26% in September). The poll finds Trump virtually tied (26.2%-25.2%) with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. This dramatic movement is the strongest evidence yet that Republican voters are tiring of Trump. 57% of Republicans say ‘to move forward we need new leaders and fresh faces.’ The poll was conducted after the withdrawal from Afghanistan was completed.

President Biden also saw a 10-point plunge in his popularity overall, but dropped a shocking 30-points with Independents, the key swing voters in the General Election.

Statement by Ambassador John Bolton:

“These numbers will probably come as a shock to Donald Trump. After 20 years in Afghanistan, it’s clear that Americans are unhappy with leaving as we did. Voters were smart enough to see that President Trump started the withdrawal and legitimized the Taliban through negotiations. They recognize that withdrawal carries more risks for the homeland than keeping a U.S. and NATO military presence in Afghanistan. Biden bears the responsibly for the final embarrassing moments and his corresponding drop in support reflects that, but it’s not lost on anyone that Trump, like Biden, wanted to withdraw and shares the blame for the failure. National security matters to voters, especially when failure leads to greater risks, so you rightly see conservatives quickly considering options other than Donald Trump.”

Key findings from the poll include:

    • Neither Trump or Biden fared well on Afghanistan, with a majority saying major mistakes were made by both Presidents and a slightly larger group (55%) saying it was a mistake for Trump to negotiate with the Taliban.
    • A majority of voters (51%) said the U.S. is less safe as a result of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, including 77% of conservatives. Voters also disagreed with the strategy entirely, with 57% saying troops should have remained and 81% agreeing the Taliban supports terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.
    • Consistent with our prior polls, the desire for a fresh face continues to increase. Since former president Trump’s popularity has dropped with voters since the 2020 election, 57% to 29% agree that a new Republican candidate – a fresh face – would be a stronger candidate to defeat Joe Biden in 2024.
    • Trump’s vote dropped from 46% in July to 26% in September in the 2024 Republican primary field. He is now virtually tied, 26.2% to 25.2% with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

    Note: Trump’s vote dropped from 46% in July to 26% in September. He dropped 23.5% with Very Conservative voters and 22% with Somewhat Conservative voters.

    1. Question: If the next Republican primary for President in your state was held today, and the candidates were Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Ron DeSantis, Mikki Haley, Josh Hawley, Kristi Noem, Mike Pence, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, and Donald Trump – for whom would you vote?

    Sept July +/-
    All primary voters
    Donald Trump 26.2 46.0 -19.8
    Not Trump 73.8 54.0 +19.8
    Very Conservative Primary voters:
    Donald Trump 34.0 57.5 -23.5
    Not Trump 66.0 42.5 +23.5
    Somewhat Conservative Primary voters:
    Donald Trump 24.5 46.9 -22.4
    Not Trump 75.5 53.1 +22.4
    Moderate primary voters:
    Donald Trump 17.8 25.2 -7.4
    Not Trump 82.2 74.8 +7.4

    2. If the next Republican primary for president in your state was held today, and the candidates were Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Josh Hawley, Kristi Noem, Mike Pence, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott And Donald Trump for whom would you vote?

    Donald Trump 26.2
    Ron DeSantis 25.2
    Chris Christie 7.2
    Nikki Haley 6.0
    Ted Cruz 4.7
    Kristi Noem 3.0
    Mike Pence 2.6
    Tim Scott 2.3
    Marco Rubio 1.9
    Josh Hawley 1.3
    Undecided 19.6

    These findings are based on a nationally representative survey conducted September 16-18, 2021, by political veteran Carter Wrenn on behalf of John Bolton Super PAC, of 1,000 likely general election voters. The survey of general election voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence interval.

    Through his PAC, SuperPAC and Foundation, Ambassador John Bolton defends America by raising the importance of national security in public discourse and supporting candidates who believe in strong national security policies. Ambassador Bolton has worked hard to restore conservative leadership, which must reverse the recent policies of drift, decline and defeat. America must rise to the occasion and acknowledge the indispensable role we play in the world. Through 2020, Ambassador Bolton’s endorsed over 200 candidates and raised nearly $20 million for his organizations.


Ambassador John Bolton, a diplomat and a lawyer, has spent many years in public service. He served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 2005-2006. He was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from 2001 to 2005. In the Reagan Administration, he was an Assistant Attorney General.