Former president Donald Trump maintains a commanding lead among Republicans running for president in 2024 in the first-in-the nation Iowa caucuses while former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley has pulled into a tie for second place with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a new poll finds.
Forty-three percent of likely caucus-goers pick Trump as their first-choice candidate, despite his cascading legal challenges, while Haley and DeSantis both draw 16 percent support in the NBC News-Des Moines Register-Mediacom Iowa Poll.
Trump’s support is nearly identical to his percentage in an August Iowa Poll, while DeSantis’s support has slipped three percentage points, and Haley’s support has grown by 10 percentage points.
In the new poll, Haley and DeSantis are followed by Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) with 7 percent. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie are both at 4 percent, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is at 3 percent, and former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson is at 1 percent.
The poll was conducted before former vice president Mike Pence suspended his campaign Saturday, and it reallocated the 2 percent support he received to the second-choice candidates of those respondents.
With DeSantis’s decline, Trump’s lead over the field is now 27 points, slightly larger than in August. The new poll also finds that his supporters are more enthusiastic and more settled on their choice than those of Haley or DeSantis.
The Iowa caucuses are scheduled Jan. 15 for Republicans.