Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has taken a narrow lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for second place in the pivotal early presidential primary state of New Hampshire. The recent findings, revealed by an Emerson College Polling survey, put Christie at 9% support among respondents, slightly ahead of DeSantis, who garnered 8%. While this shift appears minimal, its implications could be monumental for the GOP’s 2024 election landscape.
For some time, DeSantis had been seen as the viable alternative to faraway front-runner President Donald Trump in the crowded GOP field, especially in Emerson polling this presidential cycle. Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling, remarked, “This is the first time we have seen DeSantis drop out of second place in our polling and fall back into the pack of candidates.”
New Hampshire 2024: Trump holds 40-point lead for Republican Nomination
Trump — 49% (+40)
Christie — 9%
DeSantis — 8%
Scott — 6%
Burgum — 4%
Haley — 4%
Ramaswamy — 3%
Johnson — 2%
Pence — 1%
Hurd — 1%
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) August 15, 2023
Yet, even with Christie’s recent ascendancy, Trump remains a formidable force, holding the lead with a remarkable 49% support in the poll. The former president’s dominance in the GOP primary field is undeniable, especially among middle-aged adults. A staggering 56% of voters aged 30-49 said they would support Trump.
Despite Christie’s national campaign gaining less traction than expected, he’s focused relentlessly on New Hampshire. This emphasis appears to be paying off as he announced his entrance into the 2024 GOP race during an event in the Granite State. In contrast, while DeSantis has made several trips to New Hampshire, his campaign seems more centered on Iowa. This state will host the inaugural GOP nominating contest of 2024.
Adding to DeSantis’s campaign dynamics, recent shake-ups have been noted. A seasoned Iowa political operative, David Polyansky, was introduced as DeSantis’ new deputy campaign manager. The Florida governor has also been active in the Hawkeye State, mingling with voters at the Iowa State Fair and making appearances alongside Iowa’s popular Republican governor, Kim Reynolds.
Further down in the poll results, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) stands at 6% support. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) stand at 4%. In comparison, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has managed to secure 3%. Businessman Perry Johnson received 2% support, and familiar names like former Vice President Mike Pence and former Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) lingered at a mere 1%. A notable 13% of voters are still on the fence, indicating that the GOP race remains fluid.
On the other side of the political aisle, current President Joe Biden is seeing a resurgence in support in New Hampshire. The poll highlighted a 43% approval rating, up five points from March. Notably, the President’s approval spike is propelled by a more cohesive endorsement from his party. Kimball observed, “The President’s approval increase is fueled by a more unified approval among his party – 82% of Democrats approve of the job the President is doing, a 14-point increase from March.”
Looking toward the 2024 election, Republicans and Democrats diverge starkly on voting concerns. A substantial 60% of Republicans view voter fraud as the paramount threat, whereas 55% of Democrats identify voter suppression as the principal concern for the upcoming electoral battle.