New Hampshire Trump’s advantage against Nikki Haley grows to double figures in 2024

New Hampshire Trump's advantage against Nikki Haley
New Hampshire Trump’s advantage against Nikki Haley | Image Credit:

According to a recent CNN survey by the University of New Hampshire, which was done in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s 30-point victory in last week’s Iowa caucuses, the fight for the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire looks to be his to lose.

In the Granite State, Trump has 50% of the probable Republican primary voters’ support, compared to 39% for his closest rival, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. Since the last CNN/UNH survey in early January, when Trump led Haley 32% to 39%, both have gained support as the number of serious competitors has dwindled. According to UNH polls on the race, both Trump and Haley are now enjoying their greatest level of popularity since 2021. However, the distance between Haley and Trump has now again expanded to double digits, meaning that her impressive advances since late last summer are insufficient to overtake Trump.

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On Sunday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared his withdrawal from the presidential race and his support for the outgoing president. With only 6% of the vote, he fell short of the 10% required by the Republican Party’s rules to receive delegates there.

New Hampshire has long seemed to provide the best chance to derail Trump’s quest for a third consecutive GOP presidential nomination in the early primary schedule, according to those opposing him. This was the only early state where polls continually showed that Trump did not have the backing of the majority of voters, and where support for his opponents was frequently highest. However, according to the most recent study, Trump’s loyalty and standing within the GOP base surpass the attraction of his rivals.

Some Trump challengers were drawn to New Hampshire because of its history of independence and its more moderate pool of potential primary voters as compared to other states where nominating contests take place before Super Tuesday. Haley has also won those groups over.

She has 71% support from people who identify as philosophically moderate and 58% support from those who want to vote in the GOP primary but are registered as undeclared, New Hampshire’s label for independent voters. When it comes to voters with college degrees, she leads Trump (50% Haley to 38% Trump). However, each of these demographics alone accounts for a small portion of prospective GOP primary voters in New Hampshire: almost 3 out of 10 identify as moderate, 47% are registered undeclared, and 33% have at least a college degree.

With the greater flip sides of each of those demographics, Trump has largely solidified his support. 67% of Republicans who are registered to vote, 71% of conservatives, and 55% of people without a college degree support him. Furthermore, 88% of Trump’s followers say they have made up their minds to back him, compared to 74% of Haley backers who are as certain. This corresponds to 45% of voters who are unwaveringly in favor of Trump, compared to only 30% who are in favor of Haley.

About 1 in 5 prospective Republican primary voters overall say they haven’t made up their mind yet, with only a few days until Tuesday’s contest. As of right now, 51% of respondents favor Haley, 28% support Trump, and 14% support DeSantis.

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While only 36% of Haley supporters believe that Trump will win the primary, the majority of New Hampshire’s likely Republican primary voters (71%) believe that he will win on Tuesday. Additionally, more people say they would be satisfied if Trump were to win the party’s presidential nomination than if Haley or DeSantis did (54% each saying the same thing about obtaining the nomination).

Furthermore, among primary voters, Trump is still seen more positively than Haley or DeSantis: 56% of voters think highly of Trump, compared to 36% who think the same of Haley and 28% of voters who think the same of DeSantis. Haley closes the Granite State campaign in negative territory, but he is the only contender left who has kept a net positive favorability rating over the course of the previous year.

Bottom of Form

The Republican primary voters in the state are also largely optimistic about Trump’s real performance as president. When considering his first term in office, 70% of prospective Republican primary voters believe he accomplished more good than harm to the nation, 28% believe he accomplished more harm, and 2% believe his tenure had little impact.

In the survey, respondents were asked if they thought Trump would try and be successful in implementing the six policies he had mentioned during the campaign: erecting a wall along the US-Mexico border, naming a special prosecutor to “go after” President Joe Biden and his family, dismantling the “deep state,” repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a new health care law, ending the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and reinstating travel restrictions for seven nations with a majority of Muslims.

Four of the six goals, according to the majority of GOP voters, would be likely achieved by Trump if he were elected: constructing the wall (71% say he would definitely or probably succeed in doing so), putting an end to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine (59%), reimposing the travel ban (56%) and designating a prosecutor to pursue legal action against the Biden family (53%). Fewer people (39%) and (34%), respectively, believe that Trump will be successful in overturning the Affordable Care Act or breaking up the deep state.

If Trump is elected president, the majority of New Hampshire residents concur with probable Republican voters that he will most likely re-impose the travel ban (58%), appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Biden family (56%), and build the wall (52%). Though opinions on Trump’s chances of ending the conflict between Russia and Ukraine are deeply divided across party lines, 71% of Republicans believe he will at least probably succeed in doing so, compared to 33% of independents and 8% of Democrats. Meanwhile, 79% of Democrats believe Trump is unlikely to even try to end the conflict. Moreover, just 26% of voters across all political stripes believe he would likely repeal and replace the ACA.

The likelihood that Trump will attempt to name a special prosecutor to “go after” Biden and his family and be successful in doing so is another area of substantial ideological difference. Approximately two-thirds of independents and Republicans (63%) believe he will at least attempt, while nearly all Democrats (90%) believe he will try. Republicans (51%) and independents (47%) are less likely than Democrats (64%), who are more likely to believe that he will succeed (at least probable).

New Hampshire’s Democratic primary

Approximately two thirds of Democratic primary voters who are expected to vote indicate they want to write in Biden (63%). Because the state primary is not in compliance with DNC guidelines regarding the nomination process, Biden did not file to run for office. Nevertheless, his supporters have organized a write-in campaign. Almost all potential Democratic primary voters are aware of this endeavor; prior to conducting the survey, 91% of respondents claimed to have heard that Biden would not be on the ballot. Author Marianne Williamson gets 9% support, while 11% say they would support someone else. Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips has 10% support in the survey, mirroring his high percentage from CNN/UNH polling on the race.

Just 28% of those who are backing another candidate say they have made up their mind to support Biden, while 92% of his supporters say they have made up their mind to do so. The majority of Democratic primary voters (70%) say they would be pleased or content with Biden as their party’s nominee; but, Democratic primary voters’ excitement for Biden (31%) is less than that of GOP primary voters for Trump (46%).

However, just 46% of New Hampshire voters who are likely to vote in the Democratic primary believe that Biden would provide the party the best opportunity to win in 2024. The remaining 39% believe that someone else would, and 15% are unsure. Those who believe that someone else would be better around that person are not entirely in agreement. With 28% of mentions, Phillips is the most commonly named, although several other names also come up.

The majority of prospective Democratic primary voters believe that Biden has done more good than harm to the nation during his tenure in office (71% help, 16% harmed, and 11% hasn’t made much of a difference).

However, most New Hampshire residents do not believe that either Biden or Trump has benefited the nation during their respective administrations. As a whole, 51% of New Hampshire citizens believe that Biden has harmed the nation, while 55% of them believe that Trump has. The two groups barely overlap with one another. A mere 8% of respondents believe that both men caused more harm than good; 1% believe that both men caused more good; 41% think that Trump caused more harm than Biden did; 35% say that Trump caused more harm than Biden did; and 10% say that Trump caused more harm than Biden hasn’t done much to change things.

The University of New Hampshire Survey Center conducted the CNN New Hampshire survey online from January 16–19. The margin of sampling error for the entire sample of 2,348 people in New Hampshire, which was selected using a probability-based panel, is 2.0 percentage points. Survey questions regarding intention to vote were used to identify likely Republican and Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for the results among 1,210 probable Republican primary voters is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points. The margin of error for the results among 838 probable Democratic primary voters is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


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