In New Hampshire, Haley Is Pulling Off the Improbable

She's getting closer to Trump, polling at 29% among likely GOP voters, to his 44%
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2023 2:00 AM CST
In New Hampshire, Haley Is Gaining on Trump
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks during a town hall, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, in Sioux City, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

A new poll has good news for Nikki Haley, at least in one early voting state. The former South Carolina governor is gaining ground on former President Trump in New Hampshire, per the CBS News/YouGov poll released Sunday. If the vote were held today, Trump would win 44% of those likely to vote Republican, followed by Haley with 29%. In third place would be Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 11%, and Chris Christie would be the only other candidate in double digits, with 10%. In Iowa, however, support was consolidating around Trump; in response to the same question, Trump won 58% of likely Republican voters followed by DeSantis with 22% and Haley with 13%. No other candidate snagged double digits.

Interestingly, in New Hampshire, 55% of likely Republican voters saw Haley as the most likable and 51% described her as the most reasonable, followed by, for both descriptors, DeSantis at 37% and Trump at 36%. But when asked who they'd describe as a strong leader, 66% named Trump, followed by DeSantis at 45% and Haley at 41%. See many more takeaways from the poll here. One comment on the poll from Axios: "Haley's performance in the New Hampshire poll could signal another possible blow to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who failed to secure [New Hampshire Gov. Chris] Sununu's endorsement despite aggressively campaigning in the Granite State."

Indeed, Sununu endorsed Haley last week, which was among the reasons listed by Philip Bump in a Washington Post column last week in which he declared Haley the official "Non-Trump Candidate." Bump, known for analyzing the data behind polls, noted that in the latest national poll from Pew, it's DeSantis who is running in the No. 2 spot—but when you dig in further, you see that "Trump supporters dislike Haley and, to a more modest extent, vice versa. DeSantis supporters, though, like Trump well enough and, again, vice versa." That means it's Haley, not DeSantis, who is the true Trump alternative—but with Trump so far in the lead, Bump says, it's hard to imagine that will actually get her the nomination. See his full piece here. (More Election 2024 stories.)

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