New Hampshire Poll: Trump Leads, Haley In Distant Second

As the 2024 Republican presidential primary race heats up and the first votes are less than two months away, polls far and wide continue to show former President Donald Trump as the clear front-runner.

The battle for second place, however, is much less decisive. Whereas Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held that title for several months after entering the race, his support has dwindled significantly in recent weeks — as former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has seen her numbers rise.

A new Washington Post/Monmouth University survey found that in the early primary state of New Hampshire, Haley has a fairly comfortable lead over her non-Trump competitors with support from 18% of respondents.

DeSantis, on the other hand, came in fifth place with just 7% support and behind former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who claimed 11% and 8%, respectively.

Of course, no one came within striking distance of the former president, who received the support from 46% of registered Republican or undeclared voters in the state.

The ranking shifted significantly, however, when pollsters asked respondents who their second choice would be if their favored candidate dropped out of the race. DeSantis topped this list with 20%.

Emerson College pollsters reported similar numbers in their own New Hampshire survey with Trump leading the pack at 49% support and DeSantis trailing at just 7%. 

Other polling evidence reflects the same shift among lower-tier candidates with Trump maintaining a hefty advantage over all other Republicans.

The Haley campaign has spent millions on ads in New Hampshire and Iowa ahead of voting in those states early next year. Despite DeSantis receiving an endorsement from GOP Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankey expressed optimism about her chances in the upcoming caucuses and beyond. 

“Nikki Haley’s momentum and path to victory are clear,” Ankey asserted. “The same can’t be said for Ron DeSantis, who, even with a decent showing in Iowa, can’t afford a cup of coffee at the Red Arrow diner in New Hampshire and is a mere tourist in South Carolina.”

Following the most recent Republican primary debate, for which Trump was once again a no-show, a 538/Washington Post/Ipsos poll found that Haley was selected as the winner by 34% of respondents — 11 points higher than second-place DeSantis.

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