Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley appears to still be riding a post-debate wave that is raising her profile and poll numbers in the primary for the Republican nomination.
A new poll obtained by POLITICO on Tuesday shows she is now tied with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, while former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who had been threatening DeSantis’ second-place spot in the polls, has dipped. That poll, which was conducted by NMB Research, surveyed 800 likely GOP primary voters in the state and ran from August 25-31.
Haley gets post-debate bounce to second place tie in NEW HAMPSHIRE with DeSantis — at 10%.
Trump dominating overall field with 47% of primary vote. https://t.co/AhyuFc4OUR
— Josh Kraushaar (@JoshKraushaar) September 5, 2023
While former president Donald Trump still sits much higher in the polls, the shuffling among his challengers indicates a largely unsettled Republican base as more than half of respondents looked for a different candidate to support.
The former President currently garners 47% on the primary ballot, giving him a more than thirty pointlead over his closest challengers (Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, both at 10%).
Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy both sit at 8%, with no other candidate receiving more than 5% of the vote.
DeSantis tops the second choice ballot, with 20% of voters saying he would be their second choice inthe primary. Ramaswamy is the second choice of 18% of voters, and Haley the second choice of 15%.
This poll seems to mirror other data pollsters have found in the wake of the first Republican debate. Haley was able to make a strong showing on the stage and seems to have convinced voters she is a serious contender and not just someone running for a cabinet spot or running mate position, as critics have accused.
Nationally, she’s jumped from somewhere in the 3 percent range to the 6 percent range, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. State-level polling in other key early states like Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada isn’t available in the post-debate primary.
DeSantis’ numbers have been recovering slightly, nationally, after a major dip that began in March. The debate appears to have benefitted him, as well, and the re-launch of his campaign – which was bogged down with staff and a focus on cultural issues – is starting to appear more streamlined and traditional while still focusing on his executive management as governor of Florida.
Vivek Ramaswamy, however, appears to be holding fairly steady but unable to move upward. He is a popular second-choice candidate for voters, which suggests he is poised for a major bounce if other top candidates – like Trump or DeSantis – were to drop out of the race. However, he has fallen victim to his own flip-flops on positions and foreign policy suggestions that are out-of-sync with the Republican party. That could be damaging to him throughout the remainder of the campaign.
But if Haley continues to rise, it not only raises her stock – only half the battle in a primary is winning, while the other half is showing momentum, which she is doing – it also shows that there is still a lot that could happen between now and when the first vote is cast. We are still a ways from the Iowa caucus, and there is a high probably that some candidates still have a surprise or two left for voters.
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