Under Half of College-Educated Republicans Think Donald Trump Should Lead GOP: Poll

Less than half of college-educated Republican voters believe former President Donald Trump should be the leader of their party amid speculation he is considering running for the Oval Office again in 2024, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

Overall, 63 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said Trump should lead the GOP, while 37 percent said that role should be given to someone else, according to the poll.

Among college-educated Republicans, the number fell to 49 percent, while 51 percent said Trump should not be the party leader.

Education was an important factor in voter turnout during the 2020 presidential election. Data analysis by FiveThirtyEight found that President Joe Biden's improvement among white voters with a college degree in suburban counties helped him win the election—even as Trump made improvements among many demographics. These voters will play an important role in 2022 and 2024, when Republicans hope to win majorities in Congress.

Also in the new CNN poll, Republicans remain split on whether Trump is their best chance to take back the White House in 2024. Fifty-one percent of respondents said they believe Republicans would have a better chance of winning with Trump, while 49 percent said they would have a better chance with somebody else on the ticket.

The study also asked Republicans about what values are most important to what they think being a Republican means. Eighty-six percent said believing the federal government should have less power, and 85 percent said conservative policy positions are important.

When it comes to their view of Trump, 61 percent said supporting the former president is very/someone important. Fifty-nine percent said believing Trump won the 2020 presidential election is also very/someone important.

The CNN poll surveyed 2,119 adults from August 3 to September 7, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 points.

After Trump lost the election to Joe Biden and faced backlash over the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, some Republican lawmakers went against the former president. Ten House Republicans voted to impeach him, while seven GOP senators voted for conviction.

During his post-presidency, Trump has sought to wield power in the GOP. His candidates have both won and lost several special election primaries in 2021 in states like Texas and Ohio. He has recently backed primary challengers to GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Fred Upton, both of whom voted to impeach him.

The former president has hinted at a possible 2024 run, saying on Newsmax on August 18 that "a lot of people are going to be very happy" when asked if he plans to run. One of his former advisors, Jason Miller, said during an interview with Cheddar News on September 3 that it's "pretty clear" Trump plans to run again.

An Emerson College poll released on September 2 found that 47 percent of voters would back Trump, while 46 would support Biden in a potential rematch.

Newsweek reached out to the office of Trump and the Republican National Committee for comment on the poll Sunday, but had not heard back by publication. This story will be updated with any response.

Former President Trump
Only 49 percent of college-educated Republicans believe former President Donald Trump should be the GOP leader. Here, he is seen at a rally in Cullman, Alabama on August 21. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images