As the Iowa caucuses draw near, former President Donald Trump continues to lead the GOP field with a robust 48% in a recent poll.
In contrast, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has made a significant leap to second place, securing 20% support.
This latest poll by NBC News/Des Moines Register presents a challenging scenario for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has fallen to third place with 16% backing. In fourth place, Ohio entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has garnered just 8% support.
If Trump holds his current lead, which is slightly reduced from the 51% recorded in a December poll, it would mark the most significant margin of victory for a nonincumbent participating in Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses, according to NBC News.
Pollster J. Ann Selzer pointed out a significant enthusiasm gap among supporters, with nearly half of Trump’s supporters being extremely enthusiastic, in stark contrast to only 9% of Haley’s.
“There is underlying weakness here,” Selzer told NBC News of Haley’s standing. “If turnout is low, it seems to me that a disproportionate share of her supporters might stay at home.”
The poll, which interviewed 705 likely Republican caucusgoers from Jan. 7 to Jan. 12, holds a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
The final week of campaigning was marked by a tumultuous winter storm, impacting much of Iowa. Haley and DeSantis engaged in a fiery televised debate, after which they braved the frigid weather in Iowa to campaign some more.
Meanwhile, Trump, arriving in Iowa late Saturday, spent a significant portion of the week in legal proceedings, addressing various allegations against him.
With the New Hampshire primary soon approaching, even a narrow victory in Iowa could compel the third-place contender to withdraw, allowing for a consolidation of the anti-Trump vote.
This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.