Nikki Haley Gains Ground Against Ron DeSantis in 2024 Republican Primary Race

The Republican primary race for the 2024 presidential election is heating up, with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley gaining ground against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. In recent polls, Haley has seen her numbers rise, challenging DeSantis for second place behind former President Donald Trump.

A new Emerson College poll showed Trump leading the primary race with 59% support, followed by Haley and DeSantis tied at 8%.[0] Previous polls had shown DeSantis at 12% and Haley at 3%, but Haley’s support has risen by 5 percentage points. In a Washington Post average of national polling from October, Haley moved up to third place with 8% support, surpassing DeSantis in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

While both Haley and DeSantis still trail Trump by wide margins, they are seen as the top contenders for the GOP nomination. Haley’s strong support in her home state of South Carolina, which holds the First in the South primary, gives her an advantage over DeSantis. In a recent Winthrop University survey, Haley came in second behind Trump with 17% support among Republican primary voters in South Carolina, while DeSantis trailed at 12%.[1]

DeSantis and his camp view Haley as a growing threat, especially in key early states like Iowa and New Hampshire. They hope to undermine her support by highlighting policy differences and portraying her as part of the anti-Trump faction within the party. However, Haley’s team argues that she appeals to a broader segment of the Republican electorate and can draw support from both anti-Trump and pro-Trump voters.

The recent spats between Haley and DeSantis have centered around foreign policy, particularly the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. DeSantis falsely claimed that Haley supported accepting Palestinian refugees from Gaza, while Haley clarified that she believes Arab countries in the region should take in the refugees.[2] The back-and-forth between the two candidates reflects their efforts to differentiate themselves and appeal to conservative Republican voters.[3]

While national polls still show DeSantis ahead of Haley, recent surveys suggest that the gap is narrowing. A CBS News poll from September showed Haley trailing DeSantis by 13 points in Iowa, but within the margin of error in New Hampshire. Aggregate polling in New Hampshire over the past two months also showed Haley with a higher average (14%) compared to DeSantis (10%).

As the nomination will ultimately be decided through state-by-state contests, DeSantis’s strong position in Iowa remains a crucial advantage. He has invested significant time and resources in the state, visiting all 99 counties and building a robust political operation. Haley’s rising support in Iowa and other early states indicates that she is gaining momentum, but she will need to continue to chip away at DeSantis’s lead to secure the nomination.[4]

The intensifying competition between Haley and DeSantis echoes the dynamics of the 2016 Republican primary race, where Trump’s lower-polling rivals focused on attacking each other instead of him.[5] Both Haley and DeSantis are aware that narrowing the field is essential to their chances of toppling Trump, who maintains a significant lead in the polls.

As the primary race progresses, Haley will continue to emphasize her foreign policy positions and her ability to find consensus on difficult issues.[6] DeSantis, on the other hand, will likely continue to position himself as a staunch conservative who aligns closely with Trump’s agenda. The battle between these two rising stars of the Republican Party will be closely watched as the 2024 presidential election approaches.

0. “Haley looks to consolidate South Carolina support after home state newspaper endorsement” Washington Examiner, 23 Oct. 2023,

1. “DeSantis, Haley spar over China and Gaza refugees in PAC campaign ads” Iowa Capital Dispatch, 25 Oct. 2023,

2. “DeSantis and Haley See Opening in Trump’s Israel Criticism” New York Magazine, 17 Oct. 2023,

3. “Haley, DeSantis battle as some think it’s time to band behind one anti-Trump candidate” AOL, 25 Oct. 2023,

4. “DeSantis and Haley split over Palestinian refugees as rivalry to be top Trump alternative intensifies” KAKE, 18 Oct. 2023,

5. “Fact check: DeSantis falsely claims ‘no pro-lifer has ever argued’ to jail a woman for getting an abortion” WENY-TV, 24 Oct. 2023,

6. “South Carolina daily asks Republicans to back Nikki Haley” The American Bazaar, 24 Oct. 2023,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top