AP, Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Former President Donald Trump maintains a significant lead among likely voters in New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary, but former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has moved ahead of Trump’s other rivals and holds second place, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire.
Trump’s advantage in New Hampshire remains short of the majority support he garners in primary polling nationally: 42% say they would vote for him, followed by Haley at 20%, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 14%, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 9%, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy at 8%, and no other candidate holding more than 2% support. Haley’s support has climbed 8 percentage points from the last CNN/UNH poll in September, with Ramaswamy dipping 5 points and support for Trump, Christie and DeSantis remaining relatively steady.
The survey finds that Trump’s standing in New Hampshire is boosted by majority support among registered Republicans (55% back him, 17% Haley, 11% DeSantis), while undeclared voters – those who are not registered with either party but say they are likely to vote in the Republican primary – are split between Haley (25%), Trump (24%) and Christie (24%).
Undeclared voters, who can choose which party’s primary to vote in, make up about 43% of likely GOP primary voters in the new poll. That’s roughly the same as their share of the GOP primary electorate in 2012 – the last time there was a competitive Republican primary with an incumbent Democratic president seeking reelection – but a larger share than the 36% they represented in the 2016 GOP primary when Trump made his first run at the presidency, according to CNN’s exit polls.
New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan announced Wednesday that the state’s first-in-the-nation primary would be held on January 23, about a week after Iowa’s caucuses kick off the GOP nomination contest.
There’s been a sharp increase since September in the share of likely Granite State Republican voters who say their vote is locked in: Just 36% of them in September said they’d definitely decided. Now, 52% say their minds are made up. More than 8 in 10 Trump supporters (83%) say their choice is definite, compared with 29% who back other candidates, including roughly a quarter of Haley’s supporters (27%) and Christie’s backers (25%).
Christie remains the candidate who likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire most often say they would…