Trump’s lead shrinks to single digits in New Hampshire, Haley gains ground: Poll

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has significantly narrowed the gap with former President Donald Trump in the Republican primary race in New Hampshire, according to latest CNN Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire. Trump has maintained a lead with 39% support among likely Republican primary voters, while Haley trails at 32%. Other candidates, such as former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, lag behind with 12% and 8% respectively.

Nikki Haley’s support up 12% since November

Nikki Haley narrows gap with Trump in New Hampshire primary race in New Hampshire(AP)

Haley’s support has seen a notable increase of 12 percentage points since the last CNN/UNH poll in November. This growth is particularly evident among undeclared voters, where she has gained 18 points, and among ideologically moderate voters, where her support has increased by 20 points. These gains coincide with her campaign efforts in the state, including an endorsement from New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu.

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The dynamics of the New Hampshire primary electorate, with a larger share of moderate and less staunchly partisan voters, contribute to the strength of Haley’s challenge against Trump. While Trump leads among conservatives, registered Republicans, and those without college degrees, Haley surpasses him among moderates, undeclared voters, and college graduates.

Only 54% Haley supporters are loyal and will definitively back on her

Despite Trump’s overall lead, Haley’s supporters appear less firmly committed compared to Trump’s base. Only 54% of Haley’s backers have definitively decided on her, in contrast to the solid 80% support for Trump. The poll also reveals that there is room for shifts in the race, as 45% of those supporting other candidates are still undecided.

Trump holds a 47% favorable rating vs 39% for Haley

In terms of favourability, only Trump and Haley are viewed more favourably than unfavourably among likely GOP primary voters in New Hampshire. Trump holds a 47% favorable rating, while Haley has a 39% favorable rating. The ratings for all major candidates have declined since September, with notable decreases for candidates like Ron DeSantis.

69% Republican primary voters in New Hampshire back Trump over eligibility

Regarding Trump’s eligibility to run in Maine’s GOP primary, about 69% of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire oppose the ruling based on the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban.” A majority believe partisan politics influenced the decision, and only 39% attribute a significant amount of responsibility to Trump for the events of January 6, 2021.

The poll also highlights a divide between Trump supporters and those who don’t back him, both in New Hampshire and among the state’s residents as a whole. While Trump’s approval rating stands at 42% among likely GOP primary voters, 57% disapprove. In the Democratic field, despite not filing for the primary ballot, President Joe Biden leads with 69% of likely Democratic primary voters planning to write in his name.

The CNN New Hampshire poll, conducted from January 4-8, involved 1,864 New Hampshire adults, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points. Likely Republican and Democratic primary voter results have error margins of plus or minus 3.2 and 3.9 percentage points, respectively.

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