With five days to go until New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary, a new poll indicates former President Trump remains the commanding frontrunner, with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley seemingly cutting into his lead, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a distant third.
Trump, who is running a third straight time for the White House, grabs 50% support among those likely to vote in next Tuesday’s New Hampshire GOP presidential primary, according to a daily tracking poll released Thursday morning by Suffolk University, the Boston Globe and NBC10 in Boston.
The former president’s support is unchanged from Wednesday’s tracking poll.
Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, stands at 36%, with her support edging up two points since Wednesday’s survey.
DeSantis, once the clear runner-up to Trump in most polling, pulled in 6% support, up a point over the past 24 hours. Four percent of respondents said they were undecided, with 1% saying they would back a different candidate.
The poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, after Trump scored a massive victory in Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, the first contest on the GOP presidential nominating calendar.
Another poll released hours earlier from Saint Anselm College also indicated Trump with a 14-point lead over Haley, with DeSantis in single digits.
Trump smashed the competition in Iowa, winning 51% of the vote, with DeSantis a distant second at 21% and Haley in third at 19%.
However, New Hampshire has a very different electorate than Iowa. Moderate voters in the Granite State are highly influential, and the state’s independents – who can vote in either major party primary – have long played a crucial role in New Hampshire’s storied presidential contest.
New Hampshire voters are traditionally late deciders, but the new poll indicates that most — 85% — have already decided on who they will support, and they are unlikely to change their minds.
The poll also indicates that while the former president holds a massive lead over Haley among self-described conservatives, Haley leads by double digits among those who consider themselves moderate or liberal.
Haley emphasized in a Fox Digital interview on Wednesday in Rochester, New Hampshire, that Trump “is the one I want. Trump is the one I’m going for.”
Additionally, looking to the former president, Haley said “you see how close it is with both of us in New Hampshire. Same in South Carolina. We’re going to try to make it closer. That’s the goal. So it’s Trump we’re going after.”
The latest polling in South Carolina, which holds the first southern primary on Feb. 24, indicates Trump with a large double-digit lead over Haley, with DeSantis a distant third in single digits.
DeSantis, speaking to voters Wednesday afternoon in Hampton, New Hampshire, pointed to the Iowa caucus results and emphasized “I finished second. She [Haley] didn’t, I mean, that’s just the reality, you know. So I don’t know how they’re going to spin that.”
Pushing back, Haley touted her Iowa finish.
“We started at two percent. We ended at 20,” she noted in a Fox News interview ahead of a campaign event at an American Legion post in Rochester, New Hampshire. “If anybody doesn’t see the momentum in that, then that’s their problem. It’s not mine. But we’re going to continue to go further. We’re way above 30% here.”
“Ron is invisible in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Everybody can see that,” Haley argued.
DeSantis, speaking with Fox News in Derry, New Hampshire, later on Wednesday, argued that Haley “cannot beat Donald Trump in New Hampshire. And she definitely can’t beat him in her home state of South Carolina. That’s just the reality.”
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who endorsed Haley last month and is her top surrogate and adviser on the campaign trail in the Granite State, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday night that he still thinks “she can win” Tuesday’s primary.
However, in a possible shifting of the goalposts, Sununu emphasized that Haley’s “already exceeded expectations in terms of a one-on-one race” with Trump.
He spotlighted that “a strong second is going to be great.”
The Suffolk University/Boston Globe/NBC 10 survey, which questioned 500 likely GOP primary voters in New Hampshire, had an overall sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
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