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HomePoliticsNational PoliticsHaley surpasses DeSantis for 2nd in new GOP primary poll

Haley surpasses DeSantis for 2nd in new GOP primary poll

(The Center Square) – Former South Carolina Gov. and ambassador Nikki Haley has surpassed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis among Republican voters, according to a new poll.

The Center Square Voter’s Voice poll shows former President Donald Trump with a wide lead and Haley in second, surpassing DeSantis by one percentage point.

The survey asked Republican voters, “Which of the following candidates are you most likely to vote for in the 2024 Republican primary?”

Of those surveyed, 61% chose former president Donald Trump, significantly more than all of his competitors combined.

Notably, 13% named Haley while 12% chose DeSantis.

Another 7% named businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, while 2% chose former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who dropped out of the race Wednesday. (The poll was conducted from Jan 2-4, before Christie’s exit.)

The poll comes just days before the Iowa Caucuses on Monday, where Trump is expected to win and DeSantis has an edge over Haley.

Overall, though, Trump has increased his lead at the national level. Apart from legal proceedings that disrupt the Trump campaign, it may be impossible for his challengers to close the gap.

“Suppose Ron DeSantis drops out after Iowa,” David Byler, chief of research at Noble Predictive Insights, the group that conducted the poll, told The Center Square. “I would not expect all of his support to go to Nikki Haley.”

Early primary states can lead to weaker candidates dropping out and other candidates seeing a surge as their opponents’ supporters join their ranks. Byler said that based on the latest data, however, those dropouts will not necessarily propel Trump’s opponents to make up the difference.

“Suppose Vivek Ramaswamy were to drop out after Iowa,” he added. “Looking at these numbers, you would not expect all of his support to go to Nikki Haley. If the field narrows to say, Trump and Haley or Trump and DeSantis, the underdog isn’t the only one who is going to gain strength. Trump is going to pick up some people too.”

Previous polling showed DeSantis besting Haley, but Haley has steadily closed the gap, especially after her debate performances drew attention while DeSantis took fire for failing to take the spotlight.

The survey in question allowed voters to share their thoughts, with one Trump-supporting male over 65 in the south saying, “We need a strong leader to fix what’s wrong in our country today and who scares the hell out of our enemies.”

Anther Trump supporter in the survey pointed to a common theme in the polling: a concern for the economy. Inflation soared during Biden’s first term, with prices rising nearly 20% for Americans.

“We were living so much better when he was President,” a suburban, Midwestern, middle class woman over 65 said in the survey. “We are now living paycheck to “paycheck because inflation is draining all our extra money.”

As The Center Square previously reported, polling also shows that about two in three Americans, or 67%, say the country is headed in the wrong direction. The majority of Americans also say they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy, according to The Center Square’s Voter Voices poll.

The survey was conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights and queried 2,573 Americans from Jan 2-4, with a roughly equal number of Republicans and Democrats as well as 266 “true independents,” which are independents who said they do not lean toward either the left or right. The poll has a margin of error of about 2%.

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