The Iowa Caucus, the first major political event of the year, will go ahead on Monday, as parts of the state continue to grapple with blizzard conditions and sub-zero temperatures,
The poll shows former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley narrowly edging Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for second place, although the gap is within the poll’s margin of error, according to NBC.
The poll shows Mr Trump commanding 48 per cent of the vote, with Ms Haley taking 20 per cent and Mr DeSantis on 16 per cent.
Businessman-turned-presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy earned just 8 per cent of the vote in the poll, just higher than those who said they were “not sure” – at 5 per cent.
The numbers from the poll tally with those of national poll site FiveThirtyEight, which had Mr Trump at 51.3 per cent as of Saturday.
Ms Haley sits at 17.3 per cent and Mr DeSantis has 16.1 per cent of the vote, according to the site.
Mr Trump’s 28-point lead over his nearest competitor in the NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll is slightly down from the 32-point advantage he enjoyed in a similar poll conducted in December.
According to NBC, if his current lead holds on Caucus night, it will be the largest margin of victory for a nonincumbent competing in Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses.
The current record margin, 13 points, was set by Bob Dole in 1988.
Some 68 per cent of those in the NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll said their mind was already “made up” with regard to their vote, though 25 per cent said they could “still be persuaded”.
For former president Trump, 49 per cent of backers said they were “extremely enthusiastic” about him as a first-choice candidate.
Though she continues to gain support – notably from former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on Sunday – support for Ms Haley in the poll is up four per cent compared with in December.
NBC notes that half of Ms Haley’s supporters identify as either independents or Democrats. In contrast to Mr Trump, only nine per cent of supporters said they were “extremely enthusiastic” about having her as a first choice candidate.
Mr DeSantis’ 16 per cent first-choice support is down three points from December, when he was in a distant second place to former president Trump. But 23 per cent said they were “extremely enthusiastic” about the Florida Governor as their first choice.
On average, 60 per cent of those polled said they were “excited” for their chosen candidate ahead of the Caucus on Monday.
The final Iowa Poll, conducted 7-12 January 2024, for The Des Moines Register, NBC News, and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, was based on telephone interviews with 705 registered voters in Iowa who say they will definitely or probably attend the 2024 Republican caucuses.
Interviewers contacted 4,170 randomly selected voters from the Iowa Secretary of State’s voter registration list by telephone. The sample was supplemented with additional phone number lookups.