Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has surged in a recent New Hampshire poll, ousting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis from the number two spot.
In the new poll conducted by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center (SACSC) at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP), Haley now has 15 percent support among Republican candidates vying for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
Though her support is growing, Haley, a former United Nations (UN) Ambassador, still trails former President Donald Trump by 30 points in the New Hampshire poll.
Behind Haley is DeSantis (11 percent) and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (10 percent).
“As in 2016, opposition to Trump is diluted over several candidates, preventing the consolidation that would be necessary to deny him a third straight nomination. Furthermore, a fractured field means the eventual Republican nominee will have to work to consolidate their support against President Joe Biden if he stands for re-election,” NHIOP Executive Director Neil Levesque stated.
“Only 46 percent of the Republican primary voters tested say that they would vote for Christie in a general election match-up with Biden,” he added. “73 percent would vote for DeSantis, 74 percent would vote for Trump or Haley, and 76 percent would support Scott. This reflects a deep polarization in the primary electorate between supporters and detractors of Trump.”
Though New Hampshire only offers four Electoral College votes, the state carries importance in presidential elections. New Hampshire state law requires it to be the first primary in the U.S., making it proving ground for candidates.
Winners are able to gain momentum and potentially become frontrunners, while other candidates could be forced to drop out if their performance is lackluster. Christie, for instance, recently said he would exit the race if he does not perfume well in New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire poll was published on the heels of a separate poll showing Haley besting President Joe Biden by a 5-point margin if she were the general election GOP candidate and the election were held today.
In a hypothetical matchup between Haley and Biden, Haley would beat Biden 46-41, according to the Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies poll.