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Surprise GOP candidate surging in 2024 race against Trump

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at the Republican National Convention, Aug. 24, 2020. (White House/Released)
September 07, 2023

In a shift in the GOP presidential race, Nikki Haley, former UN Ambassador, has seen a surge in popularity in early voting states Iowa and New Hampshire, effectively tying with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the aftermath of the first Republican primary debate.

The information comes from a polling memo by Tony Fabrizio, a pollster for former President Donald Trump’s super PAC MAGA Inc., and was obtained by Axios.

In the memo, Fabrizio states, “President Trump continues to dominate these first two contests with his support remaining statistically unchanged from pre-debate public polling in these states.”

The memo reveals that while Trump still dominates the field, new dynamics are emerging as the Republican primary season kicks off.

Fabrizio, who also serves as a chief pollster for The Wall Street Journal, indicated that the latest polls among likely Republican voters show a clear pattern.

“DeSantis has flatlined, Haley has surged, and Ramaswamy is seen as last week’s debate winner,” Fabrizio wrote in the memo.

Fabrizio went on to say, “The much hoped-for DeSantis ‘bounce’ was really a ‘dead cat bounce’ in that it doesn’t exist.”

Fabrizio’s analysis not only highlights Haley’s momentum but also indicates an intentional narrative shift from “Trump vs. DeSantis” to “Trump vs. everyone else.”

READ MORE: Could Trump be removed from 2024 ballots?

Public Opinion Strategies, a firm polling for DeSantis, also released an internal Iowa poll that aligns with Fabrizio’s findings, showing Haley on the rise post-debate. However, their report placed DeSantis closer to Trump in Iowa, trailing by 20 points, as opposed to Fabrizio’s 26-point gap.

According to the poll, Fabrizio found Trump leading in Iowa with 44%, followed by DeSantis at 18%, Haley at 10%, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) both at 7%. In New Hampshire, Trump was at 48%, DeSantis at 11%, with Haley and Ramaswamy tied at 9%.

The latest poll results offer new insights into the Republican primary, which is shaping up to be a multi-candidate battle for second place to Trump. With Haley’s ascension in early voting states, DeSantis now finds himself competing with multiple candidates rather than being the sole alternative to Trump, according to Fabrizio.

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.