Nikki Haley leads Ron DeSantis in South Carolina, Fox poll shows

The numbers show the former South Carolina governor remains a force in her home state and a threat to the lagging Florida governor

Eric Garcia
Monday 24 July 2023 17:28 BST
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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Two new polls from Fox Business show that Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s numbers in the Republican presidential primary continue to tumble in Iow in South Carolina, where the state’s former governor Nikki Haley has eclipsed him.

Fox Business surveyed 806 Iowa Caucus goers between 15 July and 19 July with a margin of error of 3.5 per centage points. It also surveyed 808 South Carolina Republican primary voters within the same time frame with the same margin of error as the Iowa survey.

The Iowa survey showed that 46 per cent of Iowa caucus goers prefer former president Donald Trump, while 16 per cent prefer Mr DeSantis, and 11 per cent of voters support Sen Tim Scott (R-SC). None of the other candidates register in double digits. In addition, 23 per cent of caucus goers in Iowa say Mr DeSantis is their second choice, while 15 per cent say Mr Scott isn their second choice.

A state with a large white evangelical Christian conservative population, Iowa’s status as the first contest in the Republican primary makes it essential for any insurgent candidate. But Mr DeSantis has faced a bevy of negative headlines and posted a lacklustre first fundraising quarter since he announced his candidacy in May.

Similarly, the South Carolina survey showed Mr Trump maintains a commanding lead, with 48 per cent of primary voters in the Palmetto State saying they support the former president. Meanwhile, 14 per cent said they support Ms Haley, who served as governor from 2011 to 2017, when Mr Trump nominated her to serve as US ambassador to the United Nations.

Conversely, only 13 per cent of voters support Mr DeSantis and 10 per cent of voters support Mr Scott, the state’s junior Senator whom Ms Haley appointed to fill a vacancy in 2013. Mr DeSantis remains the top second choice for South Carolina voters, with 20 per cent saying he’s their second choice, followed by 16 per cent who say Ms Haley is their second choice.

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