Polls Show Trump Holds Wide Lead Over Nikki Haley in New Hampshire – Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign came to a conclusion, and the disappointment is unlikely to propel Nikki Haley, the last challenger to Donald Trump, to secure the Republican nomination, as indicated by two polls from New Hampshire on the eve of the primary.
Despite initially being perceived as a significant opponent to Trump, DeSantis faced harsh criticisms, and his White House aspirations failed to gain momentum, ultimately becoming a significant setback to the political reputation of the right-wing Florida governor. On Sunday, a poll revealed that the hard-right Florida governor, despite contradicting his own Super PAC, Never Back Down, and reversing his stance, saw Donald Trump leading Nikki Haley by a significant margin.
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According to NBC News, the Boston Globe, and Suffolk University, Trump secured 55% support compared to Haley’s 36%, maintaining a 19-point lead. Despite enduring months of personal attacks from Trump, DeSantis, upon ending his campaign, extended his endorsement to the twice-impeached former president, who faced 91 criminal charges. Despite disowning Trump’s false claims about the stolen 2020 election, DeSantis supported him to contend against Joe Biden.
In a Monday poll by the Washington Post and Monmouth University, Trump garnered 52% support in New Hampshire, surpassing Haley’s 34%. This marked a significant increase in support for the former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador since November, attributed mainly to the withdrawal of Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who positioned himself as an anti-Trump candidate.
In the Post-Monmouth poll conducted before DeSantis concluded his campaign, he secured 8% support. “If DeSantis’s supporters in the poll are allocated based on their second choice,” the Post said, “Trump’s support rises by four points while Haley’s increases by two.” This past Sunday, Haley organized a rally in New Hampshire alongside Judy Sheindlin, widely recognized as Judge Judy—an ex-Manhattan family court judge renowned for her television show centered around small claims and arbitration.
“What a crowd, Exeter!” she said. “The energy on the ground is electric, and it’s clear Granite Staters are ready to make a difference on Tuesday! An extra special thanks to America’s favorite judge, Judge Judy Sheindlin, for joining us! She gets it: this country needs no drama, no chaos, no nonsense – just results!” Despite her earnest efforts to garner support, polling results unmistakably indicate that Nikki Haley lags significantly behind Trump in New Hampshire.
She faces an even wider gap in South Carolina—her home state, which will be the third to vote next month. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, Trump holds a commanding lead over Haley, with a margin of 61% to 25% in the southern state. Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said: “I wish I had a dollar for every Republican who’s told me over the last three years, ‘We’ve learned our lesson. No way will Trump be our nominee again.’”
Speaking to CNN, Sabato added: “If [Haley] loses on Tuesday, it almost certainly marks the end of her run. She may continue through her home state of South Carolina though I think she’d be hesitant to do it because she wouldn’t want to lose her home state. That’s really difficult to explain to people.” “But for all practical purposes, once DeSantis left and once the other candidates were knocked out of the race, it was Trump’s to lose and Trump has to lose significantly and he’s not going to lose it.”
DeSantis concluded his campaign, issuing a statement that included a quote mistakenly attributed to Churchill and expressing his endorsement of Trump. Sabato was questioned about DeSantis’s shift in supporting Trump, especially considering his recent criticism of Republicans and endorsing the former president just last week. “I guess he saw some good examples of ring kissing and decided to imitate it,” Sabato said.
“Look, who knows what was going through his mind other than the fact that he certainly wants to run the next time. Now, whether he’ll be credible as a candidate after this disastrous run? Remember, he was supposed to be Trump’s main challenger and most of the establishment in the Republican party was betting on him. And his campaign crashed and burned.”
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“This was really a disgraceful enterprise in so many different ways. But in [DeSantis’s] mind, at least right now, as he’s coming to terms with the the demise of his dream, he’s thinking about running in 2028. Well, being associated with Nikki Haley is not going to help you, because this party has already become the Donald Trump party or the Maga party and it will be in all likelihood even more so as the years go on.”