Nikki Haley Surges in Polls, Challenging Ron DeSantis for 2024 Republican Nomination

The race for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election is heating up, and two candidates have emerged as frontrunners: former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. In the aftermath of the first two GOP primary debates, Haley has seen a surge in her poll numbers, challenging DeSantis for second place behind former President Donald Trump.

A recent Emerson College poll showed Trump leading the primary with 59% support, while Haley and DeSantis were tied at 8%.[0] However, a previous Emerson poll had DeSantis at 12% support, showing a decline in his numbers, while Haley’s support had risen by 5 percentage points.[0] Nationally, Haley has moved into third place, closely behind DeSantis, according to a Fox News poll.[1]

Haley’s rise in the polls is not limited to national numbers. She has pulled into third place in Iowa and has jumped ahead of DeSantis in recent surveys of New Hampshire and South Carolina.[2] In her home state of South Carolina, a Winthrop University survey showed her in second place behind Trump with 51% to 17% support among Republican primary voters, while DeSantis trailed at 12% support.[3] In New Hampshire, a USA Today/Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll showed Trump leading Haley 49% to 19%, with DeSantis coming in third at 10%.[3]

The rivalry between Haley and DeSantis has intensified in recent weeks, with both campaigns trading barbs and releasing attack ads. DeSantis has accused Haley of being “politically correct” on the issue of accepting Palestinian refugees, while Haley has criticized DeSantis for his comments on Palestinians being anti-Semitic.[3] The two candidates have focused on foreign policy in their campaigns, avoiding direct attacks on each other in their remarks.[2]

DeSantis’ camp hopes that increased scrutiny of Haley’s record and positions will take a toll on her campaign.[2] They argue that while Haley may be appealing to a smaller, anti-Trump segment of the Republican electorate, she cannot win enough voters from the pro-Trump majority to defeat him in a head-to-head race.[2] However, some view Haley as the main threat to DeSantis’ efforts to consolidate support as the top alternative to Trump.[4]

The attacks between the two candidates have centered on Haley’s past statements on refugees and her stance on Israel.[4] DeSantis’ campaign has accused her of “flip-flopping” on critical issues, while Haley’s campaign has accused DeSantis of “falsely describing” her stance on the issue.[3] The tension between the two candidates has spilled over into debates and campaign events, with both sides trying to gain an advantage.[2]

As the race for the Republican nomination continues to unfold, it remains to be seen who will emerge as the top challenger to Trump. Haley’s rise in the polls and her ability to challenge DeSantis in key states suggest that she is a formidable contender. However, DeSantis still holds second place in most polling, and his strong support among pro-Trump voters could give him an advantage. The coming months will be crucial for both candidates as they vie for the support of Republican primary voters and try to position themselves as the best alternative to the former president.

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

1. “GOP Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Emerges as ‘Most Viable Alternative’ to Former President Trump” American Kahani, 16 Oct. 2023,

2. “Haley and DeSantis escalate their battle to become Trump alternative” The Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2023,

3. “Haley, DeSantis spar for second as 2024 primary closes in” The Hill, 22 Oct. 2023,

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

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top