The next election cycle is as high stakes as it gets. Which is what makes this latest development so huge.
Because the 2024 Presidential election just took an unexpected and wild turn.
Go back to the summer of 2022, and the vast majority of conservative voters and Republicans would tell you that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) was going to be the next Republican nominee for President in 2024.
That started to change when Donald Trump officially launched his reelection campaign at the end of 2022. Trump’s following made their way back to supporting the former President instead of Ron DeSantis.
Though, Ron DeSantis still stood as the biggest threat to the Trump campaign. That is evident in the fact that Trump spent many months attacking Ron DeSantis as ruthlessly as possible.
Fast forward to today and the Republican field is filled to the brim with potential candidates. Ron DeSantis’s chances of getting past Trump have dwindled because of the influx of Republican candidates that are inevitably going to split the same votes since Trump has his voting base that will not change.
While it seems overall that Ron DeSantis remains the biggest threat to Donald Trump’s nomination, there’s a newcomer that can no longer be ignored lest Trump and DeSantis want to have the rug pulled out from under them.
According to a recent poll of possible New Hampshire primary voters, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley is tied with Florida governor Ron DeSantis in the 2024 Republican primary race.
According to an NMB Research poll that Politico was able to obtain, both Haley and DeSantis are at 10 percent, while former President Donald Trump has a 37-point advantage over his closest rivals.
The survey, which is the first to show Haley and DeSantis tied in New Hampshire since the inaugural GOP presidential debate at the end of August, is a relative oddity because, according to the RealClearPolitics average of New Hampshire polls, DeSantis has 13 percent support to Haley’s 3.8 percent.
The Florida governor was the undisputed runner-up in the GOP primary race before he began to lose ground during the summer, so the most recent data still indicate a big change.
DeSantis defeats Haley on ballots of second-choice candidates, though; the poll found that 20% of New Hampshire respondents said they would support DeSantis over Trump. Haley continues to receive 15% of second-choice votes.
If Haley receives a similar bounce from the upcoming presidential debate on September 27, she could be able to surpass DeSantis. Haley clearly benefited from her performance in the first primary debate.
In a Wall Street Journal poll conducted on Saturday, 600 registered GOP primary voters gave Haley 8% of their first-choice votes, compared to DeSantis’ 13%. Other than Trump and DeSantis, Haley appears to be leading the pack against rivals on first-choice ballots, including biotech billionaire Vivek Ramaswamy and the former governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie.
On the primary ballot, support for Christie and Ramaswamy was 8%. In the survey conducted on Friday, none of the other contenders received more than 5%.
From August 25 through August 31, the NMB Research poll questioned 800 probable Republican voters in the state of New Hampshire. The poll has a 3.46 percentage point margin of error.
Of course, we should all take polls with a giant grain of salt. You may remember that Donald Trump was given no shot at winning the Republican nomination before the start of the Republican debates. Then he won fairly comfortably against the field that included U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Then, in the general election season, he was given no shot to beat Hillary Clinton come November time. And we all know what happened there. Hillary Clinton got embarrassed at the ballot box, losing to the outsider.
Nonetheless, this should demonstrate that Nikki Haley is a force that DeSantis and Trump will want to reckon with to keep their campaigns on track.
Stay tuned to Prudent Politics.