Donald Trump remains the frontrunner in New Hampshire, however Nikki Haley has gained support from a significant portion of voters who are not in favor of Trump. She has now become the leading alternative to him in the state.
Haley receives top scores for being perceived as “pleasant” and “sensible,” and she is nearly on par with Trump in terms of being “prepared” – a notable feat, given his previous role as president. She has been emphasizing her ability to win elections and is currently viewed as the most viable candidate to challenge Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump has strengthened his position.
In the state of Iowa, potential caucus attendees are largely viewing him as a “resolute leader,” with his supporters touting him as a representative of Iowa’s core principles. Additionally, he is gaining support from a voting population where almost half identify with the MAGA movement.
These characteristics demonstrate the distinctions in the qualities desired by Trump supporters and those who did not vote for Trump.
In September, the majority of likely caucus-goers are only considering one candidate – the one who is currently in the lead. The number of people considering only this candidate has also increased.
A higher percentage of Iowa Republican caucus attendees identify as “MAGA” compared to Republican primary voters in New Hampshire. Additionally, the majority of Trump supporters believe that he embodies the values of Iowa.
In addition, almost all Republican voters in Iowa who are contemplating supporting Trump believe that the state of things improved during his presidency.
Trump’s supporters are the most resolute in their decision. They mostly characterize their backing as “extremely strong – my decision is final.”
Ron DeSantis has not made significant progress in Iowa since September. Although he is devoting a considerable amount of time in the state, he is not performing any better among caucus-goers who value candidates who personally interact with voters compared to those who do not. He is perceived to have policies similar to Trump’s, which is appealing to a state that desires a nominee like Trump if he is not an option, but Trump remains the leading figure in the race.
Based on our calculations, Trump’s current backing would likely result in winning the majority of delegates in Iowa (21-26) and 10-16 delegates in New Hampshire. Haley’s support in New Hampshire could earn her 5-8 delegates, while DeSantis and Christie’s support may barely meet the 10% requirement to receive any delegates.
The CBS News/YouGov polls were carried out from December 8-15, 2023. They were conducted among 1,054 registered voters in Iowa and 855 in New Hampshire, with the goal of obtaining a representative sample. The data was adjusted for gender, age, race, education, and geographic region using the U.S. Census Current Population Survey and past voting patterns. The results are specifically among potential Republican caucus/primary voters and have a margin of error of ±6.1 points in Iowa (n=478) and ±5.5 points in New Hampshire (n=459).
New Hampshire toplines