The top of the 2020 ticket is stuck in second place in New Hampshire. In both parties.
Just days before former President Donald Trump makes his first New Hampshire appearance of the 2024 cycle, a new poll puts Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) well ahead among likely Granite State GOP primary voters.
And like Trump, his 2020 opponent President Joe Biden is in second place among New Hampshire Democrats, according to the Granite State Poll, a States of Opinion project, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
DeSantis is at 42 percent, while Trump trails at 30 percent and 8 percent pick former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is tied for fourth place with former Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland and former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney at four percent.
“Support for DeSantis (42 percent) is largely unchanged since June 2022 (39 percent) while support for Trump (30 percent) has steadily declined from a high of 47 percent in July 2021,” the pollsters note.
Trump is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at Saturday’s annual GOP committee meeting. Trump supporters have expanded their influence in the party and the former president is expected to get a warm greeting. At the same time, all three Trump-supporting MAGA nominees lost their federal races in the Granite State, leaving some Trump supporters asking if it is time to move on.
“The importance of this polling cannot be overstated,” said Alex Olson with the Ron to the Rescue Super PAC promoting a DeSantis 2024 run. “The first-in-the-nation primary state has long stood as a determinate for successful presidential candidates. The fact that Gov. DeSantis is leading over the former president without even formally launching his campaign speaks volumes to his electability.”
New Hampshirite Republicans are eager for change and want a candidate on the top of the ticket who can help grow their electoral prominence. DeSantis is the key: blending traditional Republican suburbanites with rural MAGA voters.
Trump’s numbers in the UNH survey — which uses a panel of respondents rather than a random survey — are outliers from recent national polls showing him well ahead of DeSantis in a potential head-to-head match-up.
Meanwhile, Biden trails his own Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a UNH survey released earlier this week.
Biden had the support of just 18 percent of Granite State Democrats — tied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — while Buttigieg was backed by 23 percent. And 66 percent of Democrats did not want Biden to run for re-election.
Some speculate Biden’s numbers may be low due to his decision to strip New Hampshire of the First in the Nation (FITN) primary. But Biden was at 16 percent in a UNH survey taken last July, months before the new DNC primary calendar was announced.
Biden has been underwater with all New Hampshire voters since January 2022.
Many in Granite State political circles, like GOP operative Josh Whitehouse, find UNH’s polling results less than trustworthy.
“I haven’t committed to any candidate for 2024, but when are we going to stop believing the fake news polls that had Chuck Morse 20 points down in the [U.S. Senate] primary when he lost by one and then predicted a sweeping red wave in the midterms?”