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Governor Ron DeSantis Polls in Fifth Place in New Hampshire

DeSantis was the runner up when voters were asked who they would support if their preferred candidate was not running

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is trailing other Republican presidential candidates in New Hampshire according to a new poll. 

The latest data shows DeSantis’s competitors gaining footing among voters in the first-in-the-nation state roughly five months before the primary.

A new poll from CNN and the University of New Hampshire found DeSantis was the fifth most popular candidate among likely voters in the Granite State. Former President Donald Trump continues to be the Republican Party’s front-runner, with 39% support statewide and 48% support among registered Republicans. Roughly 13% of New Hampshire voters support entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, 12% support former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, 11% support former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and 10% support DeSantis.

Approximately 9% of New Hampshire’s registered Republicans support DeSantis as well as 10% of voters that are either registered but undeclared or not registered voters.

In contrast, the poll found Trump has 23% of undeclared or non-registered state residents and 22% would back Ramaswamy.

The poll groups registered Independents and Democrats together and did not give specific insight into differences between the two groups’ perspectives on the Republican candidates. 

Statewide, 36% of New Hampshire voters reported that they have “definitely decided” who they will be voting for in the primary. Another 38% say they are “leaning to someone” and 24% say they are “still trying to decide.” People who identify as Republican are more confident with 40% saying they have decided who they’ll vote for in February while only 20% of Independents and Democrats have made a decision and 41% say they know which candidate they are leaning toward. 

Poll participants indicated DeSantis is their number one second-choice candidate when asked “If your preferred candidate were not running, who would you support for the 2024 Republican nomination?” The majority of voters – 23% – said they would support Florida’s governor. Ramaswamy was the next favored alternative with 13% support, and then Nikki Haley with 11%. DeSantis is also the preferred second-choice candidate to 28% of participants who identify themselves as Trump primary supporters followed by Ramaswamy (25%) and conservative radio host Larry Elder (10%).

According to CNN:

The poll also suggests that alongside the key differences that appear to drive the GOP race in most polling … in New Hampshire, there are broad differences between Trump backers and those supporting other candidates on what they’d like to see in a Republican candidate for president…

Those likely primary voters who are not backing Trump broadly say they prioritize the economy (48%) as the top issue in making their decision about whom to support, with far fewer pointing to immigration (14%). Trump supporters, though, are more evenly split between the economy (28%) and immigration (25%), followed by issues around personal freedom (10%) and the cost of living (9%).

The sharpest policy divide between Trump backers and those supporting other candidates comes over funding for Ukraine: 84% of Trump backers say they support stopping all military funding for Ukraine, while just 39% of those backing other candidates feel the same way.

The poll was conducted between Sept. 14 and Sept. 18 and was completed by 2,107 members of the Granite State Panel, a probability-based web panel of New Hampshire residents. 

DeSantis performed slightly better in an InsiderAdvantage poll of 850 likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire that was conducted on Sept. 20. The 44-year-old ranked fourth, after Christie, Haley, and first-place Trump. He did outperform Ramaswamy by 3%.

A Trafalgar Group poll that was conducted in August ranked DeSantis in second place in the New Hampshire primary, with 10.7% support to Trump’s 49.7%. He very narrowly led Ramaswamy, who had 10.4%.

Nationally conducted surveys consistently find that Trump is leading the pack of Republican hopefuls.

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