Less than a month before the first Republican primary debate, former President Donald Trump faces an eroded favorability rating among Republicans, but he’s still the top-polling Republican candidate, while his closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is dealing with his own challenges.

Trump leads the Republican field with about 52% support, according to the FiveThirtyEight average of polls, with DeSantis falling to 15.5%, which is down from about 23% earlier this month.

Even though Trump remains ahead in polling, his favorability rating among Republicans has taken a hit in the past year, a survey released last week by Pew Research Center found. While views of Trump haven’t changed over the past year among U.S. adults and Democrats, who generally view him unfavorably, among Republicans, Trump’s favorability rating has fallen from 75% in July 2022 to 66% today.

Trump’s softening favorability among Republicans suggests his indictments and ongoing investigations into his role on Jan. 6, and with election interference in Georgia have taken a toll, but it hasn’t been enough to threaten his majority support among Republican voters.

Voters hopeful DeSantis could mount a credible challenge to Trump have so far been disappointed. The DeSantis campaign is shedding staff and recently cut more than a third of its payroll, according to Politico. An aide was also fired this week after secretly making and sharing a pro-DeSantis video that featured Nazi symbolism. 

The DeSantis campaign said the staff cuts would better position the Florida governor for the primary.

“Following a top-to-bottom review of our organization, we have taken additional, aggressive steps to streamline operations and put Ron DeSantis in the strongest position to win this primary and defeat Joe Biden,” DeSantis campaign manager Generra Peck said in a statement to Politico.

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For Republican candidates polling in single digits, DeSantis’ failure to catch fire represents a potential opening to become Trump’s top challenger, and campaigns see next month’s debate as an opportunity.

So far Trump, DeSantis and five other candidates have reached the Republican National Committee’s polling and fundraising minimums to qualify for the debate: entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. Trump has not committed to attending the debate, which will be hosted by Fox News on Aug. 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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While Republican candidates argue they’re the party’s best option to beat President Joe Biden next year instead of Trump, convincing Republican voters has proven to be a challenge. A 69% majority of Republican voters believe Trump is the strongest candidate to beat Biden, a Monmouth University poll released this week found.

Most Republican voters are also unconcerned with Trump’s indictments. Only 27% of Republican voters said they’re worried his indictments will make him a weaker candidate against Biden, according to the poll.

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“Trump has successfully pushed a politics of grievance where the system is out to get you,” Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said in a statement. “In that light, the criminal charges seem to make him an even stronger advocate in the eyes of many Republicans.”

While Biden’s approval is underwater, he’s seen it improve after hitting 37% in Gallup’s survey in April, his lowest point since taking office. Biden’s latest Gallup approval from June is 43%.