While All Eyes Are on Israel, Haley and DeSantis Dead Even, Trump Still Running Away From GOP Field


As America and the rest of the world watch the events unfold between Israel and Hamas, domestic issues have taken a bit of a back seat. The race for the Republican Presidential nomination, and how those candidates are faring, is the subject of a new Emerson College poll. Some of those numbers might be surprising to poll watchers, and to others perhaps, not so much. 

The unsurprising numbers belong to former President Donald Trump. Trump is far and away the leading candidate for the nomination at 59 percent. The real question seems to be, barring anything unforeseen, who will come in second behind Trump. 

The biggest news to come out of the poll may be the surge by former South Carolina Gov. and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. She has pulled dead even with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Both are at eight percent. Rounding out the current field, the poll puts former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at four percent, and former Vice President Mike Pence and Vivek Ramaswamy in a tie at three percent. The poll shows 10 percent are undecided. The poll does not include numbers for South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. Recently, Trust In the Mission PAC, a super PAC aligned with Scott, announced it was canceling a huge ad blitz on behalf of Scott’s campaign. According to a Real Clear Politics poll, Scott currently sits at 1.8 percent.

Within the last month, there has been a bit of back-and-forth among those the closest behind Trump. In that time, both DeSantis and Ramaswamy’s numbers have fallen four points, from 12 percent and seven percent respectively, while Haley’s numbers have increased from three percent to eight percent. Haley and DeSantis have recently sparred over whether the United States should be allowing Palestinian refugees into the country. Haley has not said she favors allowing refugees into the country, but recently stated,

“There are so many of these people who want to be free from this terrorist rule. They want to be free from all of that. And America’s always been sympathetic to the fact that you can separate civilians from terrorists. And that’s what we have to do.”

Haley appeared to qualify her statement by saying,

“But right now, we can never take our eyes off of the terrorists. I mean, what Hamas did was beyond thuggish, brutal and sick. What the Iranian regime is doing to help them is terrible.” 

DeSantis accused Haley of trying to be “politically correct,” and “trying to please the media and people on the Left.” He stated,

“But you also have to speak the truth, and the truth is in Gaza, it’s a dysfunctional toxic society in part because they teach young people to hate Jews. That is endemic to their culture. It doesn’t mean that they’re all members of Hamas, but what it does mean is that’s not something you want to import into the United States.”

The poll also took a snapshot of a possible Biden-Trump rematch. That shows Trump with a lead over Biden 47 percent to 45 percent. Respondents were also asked what they felt were the most pressing issues for the nation. The economy was number one at 35 percent, immigration at 16 percent, “threats to democracy” at 13 percent, healthcare at nine percent, crime at eight percent, and education at seven percent. But in addition to those issues, voters will also be paying attention to how the Biden administration handles the Israel-Hamas war. The Emerson College Poll may just be doing Joe Biden a bit of a favor with these numbers. Of those polled, 18 percent said Joe Biden’s handling of the conflict was “excellent,” 23 percent said “good,” 24 percent said “fair,” and 36 percent said “poor.” 

While Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and the rest of the GOP field duke it out in the third Republican Debate which will be held in Miami on November 8, Trump’s campaign announced on Friday that he will hold a rally in Hialeah Florida, about 15 miles away from Miami, on the same night. 


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