Goodbye Ron; Hello Nikki

( – In a further indication of the implosion of Ron DeSantis’ 2024 White House chances, Florida’s governor has been surpassed by former US Ambassador Nikki Haley when it comes to support among Republican primary voters in New Hampshire.

According to the latest poll by Saint Anselm College Survey Center, Haley, a former governor of South Carolina, is now the closest rival to former President Donald Trump for winning the 2024 Republican primary in New Hampshire.

The survey found that Trump remains the frontrunner with 45% support among GOP voters in the Granite State, the Saint Anselm College Survey Center announced.

Haley rose to the second place with 15% support, while DeSantis is third with 11% – after losing 18 points since March.

Florida’s governor is almost on par with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who enjoys 10% support among New Hampshire Republicans.

The pollster comments that Haley has become “the leading alternative to Trump,” with a 37-point net positive favorability (65%-28%).

The only other Republican nomination candidate with a higher rating in New Hampshire is South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who has a 51-point net positive favorability.

According to the poll, DeSantis doesn’t appeal enough to pro-Trump or anti-Trump Republicans.

At the same time, the former New Jersey Governor has managed to attract the appeal of the latter group.

“Christie has succeeded in branding himself as the harshest critic of Trump, but at a cost… he has virtually no support from respondents who view Trump favorably,” the pollster comments.

When asked whether they would back specific Republican candidates in a general election against President Joe Biden, 76% of New Hampshire’s GOP primary voters picked Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), 74% said they would vote for Trump or Haley, 73% vowed to support DeSantis, and only 46% declared they would vote for Christie.

“As in 2016, opposition to Trump is diluted over several candidates, preventing the consolidation that would be necessary to deny him a third straight nomination. Furthermore, a fractured field means the eventual Republican nominee will have to work to consolidate their support against President Joe Biden if he stands for re-election,” commented Neil Levesque, the director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

The Saint Anselm College poll was conducted among 931 likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters from September 19-20. It has an error margin of 3.2 percentage points.