Survey: Nikki Haley Emerges to Second Place in New Hampshire

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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks during a town hall campaign event, Wednesday, May 17, 2023, in Ankeny, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley emerged to second place in the early primary state of New Hampshire, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has slipped by double-digits in the past few months, a Saint Anselm College Survey Center (SACSC)/New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) survey found.

As is consistent in virtually every other survey — both statewide and nationwide — former President Donald Trump leads the pack with support from 45 percent among likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters.

No other individual comes remotely close, as Haley emerges to second place, 30 points behind with 15 percent support.

DeSantis has fallen 18 points since March and now sits in third place with 11 percent support— seven points behind Haley. However, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is just a single point behind DeSantis with ten percent support.

More per Saint Anslem:

Just 11% of respondents with a favorable opinion of Trump select DeSantis on the ballot test, along with 12% that have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, suggesting that he doesn’t appeal to either group strongly enough to have maintained his early status as Trump’s strongest challenger.

Former Governor Chris Christie has succeeded in branding himself as the harshest critic of Trump, but at a cost.  Although he has picked up the support of 29% of respondents who have an unfavorable impression of Trump, he has virtually no support from respondents who view Trump favorably.  His 46-point net negative favorability (25%-71%) will likely put a hard ceiling on his potential growth.

The survey was taken September 19-20 among 931 likely New Hampshire GOP primary voters. It has a +/- 3.2 percent margin of error.

This is far from the only survey that has shown DeSantis struggling in New Hampshire. The latest Insider Advantage survey also found Trump leading, followed by Haley, Christie, and then DeSantis, who fell to fourth place. It also comes as Haley ramps up her criticism of Trump, telling a crowd during a stop at a Rotary Club luncheon at the Portsmouth Country Club in New Hampshire that the former president is “used to be good on foreign policy and now he has started to walk it back and get weak in the knees when it comes to Ukraine.” Notably, Haley is among those who supports U.S. aid to the country.

“He broke things that needed to be broken. He listened and brought in a group of people who felt unheard,” she said, also criticizing Trump as too “thin-skinned and easily distracted.”

Trump said on Truth Social on Monday that Republicans should focus on issues such as automatic voter registration in Pennsylvania instead of wasting time and energy on primary debates, particularly when he is leading by so much. In that post, Trump referred to Haley as a “Birdbrain.”

“Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, and others, are far more important than ‘Aida,’ Sloppy Chris, Lyin’ Mike Pence, Nikki ‘Birdbrain’ Haley, Ron (‘Dead Campaign’) DeSanctimonious, and the others,” he said in part.

 

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