Survey: Ron DeSantis Leads Donald Trump for GOP Presidential Nomination in New Hampshire

OCALA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2022/05/06: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reacts at a press conference at Sam’s Club in Ocala, where he signed into law more than $1.2 billion in tax relief for Floridians, the largest tax relief package in Florida’s history. In an effort to combat inflation, taxes will …
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, Chris Carlson-Pool/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) leads former President Donald Trump in a hypothetical matchup for the Republican nomination for president in New Hampshire, a University of New Hampshire/Granite State Poll released Wednesday revealed.

According to the survey, DeSantis leads Trump in a hypothetical 2024 New Hampshire GOP primary 39 percent to Trump’s 37 percent — a statistical tie — among likely GOP primary voters. It also shows DeSantis besting Joe Biden by one percentage point in a head-to-head matchup against President Biden:

The poll revealed support for DeSantis skyrocketing in the Granite State, as it has “more than doubled since October.”

That phenomena coincides with a series of national headlines the governor has made over the last several months — from taking on woke gender ideology in schools via the Parental Rights in Education bill to fighting back against mandatory vaccines.

Indeed, in October, 43 percent chose Trump as their first choice, and 18 percent chose DeSantis, with no other potential candidate coming close. 

“Trump slipping in pre-primary polls is part of a typical pattern,” Andrew Smith, Director of the UNH Survey Center, said in a statement:

A party’s losing candidate in the prior election is typically the best-known person in tenor party. As the primary gets close, new candidates emerge and attract more media attention, and therefore more voter attention, than the losing the candidate from the previous election. 

Respondents were also asked to choose their second choice candidate, and DeSantis led there with 30 percent support, followed by Trump (24 percent), former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley (7 percent), and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (5 percent). 

U.S. President Donald Trump introduces Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during a homecoming campaign rally at the BB&T Center on November 26, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Ultimately, the survey found that DeSantis and Trump are “far more popular among likely Republican primary voters than among Granite Staters” overall, as DeSantis has a +66 net favorability in that group and Trump enjoys +46. Further, 65 percent of Republican primary voters “say the Republican leaders should follow Trump’s leadership going forward.” 

The survey was taken June 16 and 20, 2022, among 944 Granite State Panel members and has a +/- 3.2 percent margin of error. 

DeSantis has not shown any signs of running for president in 2024, focusing solely on his reelection in the Sunshine State, where he could very well face off against Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL). Trump has not formally announced his intention to run in 2024 but has dropped several hints since leaving office. He recently told the New Yorker that he is “very close to making a decision” about running in 2024.

“I don’t know if Ron is running, and I don’t ask him,” Trump told the New Yorker. “It’s his prerogative. I think I would win.”

His remarks follow months of establishment media rumors of infighting between the two, which both sides have dismissed. In January, DeSantis’s office blasted the rumors as “baseless stories,” describing them as nothing more than “attempts by corporate media activists to distract from Biden administration failures.”

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