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5 Aug 2023
Hannah Bleau

NextImg:Primary Poll: Trump Leading by Double Digits in All Three Early States

Former President Donald Trump is leading in all three early primary states by double digits among likely 2024 Republican presidential primary voters, the latest Manhattan Institute primary poll found.

The survey examined the state of the Republican primary race in three crucial states for the Republican hopefuls: New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Iowa. In each state, Trump stands as the dominant frontrunner — a trend that is consistent with national surveys as well.

In Iowa, for instance, Trump leads with 42 percent of the vote, 25 points ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who garnered 17 percent support. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott comes in third place with ten percent support, followed by anti-woke businessmen Vivek Ramaswamy with six percent. Every other candidate listed saw five percent support or less in the Hawkeye State.

The situation is not much different in South Carolina, as Trump leads by 22 points with 43 percent support. DeSantis comes in a distant second with 21 percent support, followed by Scott with 11 percent and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley with eight percent support.

In New Hampshire — a state the DeSantis campaign has made clear it is keenly focusing on — Trump leads with 34 percent support. DeSantis still comes in 21 points behind with 13 percent support. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie comes in just two points behind with 11 percent support. Ramaswamy comes in three points below with eight percent support, followed by both Haley and Scott, who are tied with seven percent support each in the Granite State.

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These results are consistent with what has been seen in other surveys — both on the state level and nationally — but it also found that voters are open to changing their minds and choosing another candidate rather than their current first choice. However, that does not apply to Trump as much as other candidates, as a majority of Trump supporters in each of those states — 75 percent to 78 percent — are certain they will support him. DeSantis does not have that advantage. For example, most of DeSantis’s supporters in Iowa, 59 percent, indicated that they could change their mind about ultimately supporting him.

Per the survey:

Many voters say they may change their mind: 44% of voters in Iowa, 38% in South Carolina, and 50% in New Hampshire are not sure whether they will ultimately support their first-choice candidate at this stage in the race. Trump supporters, however, are much firmer in their commitment to their choice than are supporters of any other candidate. Between 75%–78% of Trump supporters in each state say they will definitely back him. DeSantis is the most favored second choice among voters—including Trump supporters (Figures 7–9)—but 59% of DeSantis’s Iowa supporters, 40% of his South Carolina supporters, and 60% of his New Hampshire supporters say they may change their mind about backing him.

The survey also found the primary tightening when reducing it to just Trump and DeSantis. Even so, in that scenarion Trump leads by 11 percent in Iowa, 12 percent in South Carolina, and four percent in New Hampshire.

The survey found:

DeSantis beats Trump by a wide margin in drawing support from voters backing other candidates in the field. On the question of who has the best chance to beat President Joe Biden, Trump’s lead narrows once again with primary voters. He edges DeSantis on electability by 5% in Iowa, 6% in South Carolina, and 2% in New Hampshire.

The news comes as DeSantis continues to focus on early primary states rather than Super Tuesday states, as detailed in a memo revealing the DeSantis campaign’s strategy to donors.

“From what we can tell, pro-DeSantis efforts are currently and will continue to run a robust effort in Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, that includes paid media and field,” the memo states.

“While Super Tuesday is critically important, we will not dedicate resources to Super Tuesday that slow our momentum in New Hampshire,” it continues, stating that it will “revisit” the investment in the fall.

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