Nikki Haley, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is gaining traction in the 2024 presidential race, according to a recent poll. She is now tied with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as the favorite Republican candidate among Iowa voters, just behind former President Donald Trump.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 30, 2023
The poll, conducted by NBC News, the Des Moines Register, and Mediacom, found that 16% of Iowa voters prefer both DeSantis and Haley as their first choice for president. What’s interesting is that Haley’s popularity has surged, rising from 6% in August to 16% in October, while DeSantis has experienced a slight decline, dropping from 19% to 16%.
When asked about their second choice, 27% of voters selected DeSantis and 17% chose Haley. Additionally, 22% of respondents said they were actively considering Haley as a potential candidate.
Haley’s impressive performances in the last two GOP debates have undoubtedly contributed to her rise in the polls. However, the success has not come without controversy. Trump’s campaign, known for its “mudslinging,” has increasingly focused its attacks on DeSantis. The former president initially viewed DeSantis as his greatest competitor in the 2024 Republican primary but is now facing strong competition from Haley in key battleground states like New Hampshire and Iowa. In fact, in New Hampshire, Haley’s popularity has soared to 19% among voters, while DeSantis has dropped to 10%.
Several other polls also indicate Haley’s progress in outpacing DeSantis in the primary. A recent national poll conducted by USA Today and Suffolk University revealed that Haley has gained 11% support among likely Republican voters, trailing DeSantis by just 1 percentage point. This is a significant improvement for Haley who previously stood at 4.49% while DeSantis enjoyed 22.86% support in the same poll in June.
Notably, Haley appears to be the only candidate who could potentially beat President Joe Biden by a significant margin in the general election, as indicated by both a CNN poll and an NBC News poll following the first debate. Her popularity among independent voters plays a crucial role in this scenario. Nevertheless, DeSantis maintains his second-place position with a RealClearPolitics average of 12.6%, compared to Haley’s 8.3%.
While the polls demonstrate Haley’s rising popularity, it is important to note that October polls have historically been unreliable indicators of who would ultimately win the Iowa Caucus. According to Andrew Romeo, the communications director for DeSantis, the governor continues to gain momentum in Iowa, with Trump’s team also investing heavily in attacking DeSantis with false negative ads. Romeo claims that DeSantis is outworking and out-organizing Trump and has a message that resonates with the Iowa electorate.
The NBC News-Des Moines Register-Mediacom poll surveyed 404 likely Republican caucusgoers from Oct. 22-26. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. The Washington Examiner has reached out to Haley’s campaign for comment on these recent developments.