Donald Trump’s lead over DeSantis narrows in New Hampshire

Former president Donald Trump still holds a double-digit lead over his 2024 Republican rivals in New Hampshire — but the rest of the field, led by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is gaining ground, according to a new poll.

Trump, 77, is the first choice of 37% of likely GOP primary voters in the Granite State, according to the University of New Hampshire survey — down five percentage points from the outlet’s April poll.

The 45th president is followed in the race by DeSantis (23%), South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (8%), and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (6% each).

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley each polled just outside the top five, with each contender getting 5% support.

The April UNH poll, taken weeks before DeSantis entered the 2024 race, showed Trump with 42% support, DeSantis with 22% and no other candidate with more than 3% of the vote.

Ron DeSantis and wife Casey march in the July 4th parade in Merrimack, NH.
Ron DeSantis marches in the Merrimack, NH July 4th parade with his wife Casey.

Tuesday’s poll is the tightest since March, when a Saint Anselm College survey showed Trump with a 13-percentage point lead over the Florida governor.

Among respondents in the UNH poll, 18% indicated they won’t vote for Trump “under any circumstances,” while only 4% said the same about DeSantis.

Only Christie (35%) and former Vice President Mike Pence (20%) scored higher on the “won’t vote for” question than Trump.

Former President Donald Trump
Donald Trump remains the undisputed frontrunner in the 2024 GOP primary.

A plurality of New Hampshire primary voters (45%) said they were leaning toward a particular Republican candidate, but only 36% said they had “definitely decided” on their choice.

Trump had the hardest core of support, with 76% of his backers saying they were certain that he was their man. By contrast, 72% of DeSantis supporters classified themselves as “leaners,” with just 14% saying they had settled on the Florida governor as their choice.

DeSantis did top the poll’s favorability chart at 57%, while 25% had an unfavorable view.

He was followed by Scott (56% favorable, 10% unfavorable, 19% neutral), Ramaswamy (52% favorable, 12% unfavorable, 19% neutral), and Trump (49% favorable, 26% unfavorable, 25% neutral).

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The Florida governor’s polling position against Donald Trump appears to be strengthening.

Former President Donald Trump
The poll was taken prior to revelations that Special Counsel Jack Smith sought to get Donald Trump to appear before a grand jury.
Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waves to a parade-goer in New Hampshire
DeSantis dinged the former president for not being more forceful in response to the Capitol riot.

DeSantis and Ramaswamy are also the top alternatives for New Hampshire voters, with 18% calling each candidate their second choice in the race. Scott is the second choice of 12% of respondents, followed by Pence (11%) and Trump (10%)

The UNH poll also runs counter to a handful of recent surveys in the Granite State that have indicated Christie has support that rivaled DeSantis.

Christie has bet big on New Hampshire as his ticket to the GOP nod.

Ron DeSantis poses for a photo with his wife Casey
DeSantis had the highest favorability ratings of 2024 candidates in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Republican voters seem more excited about the possibility of a third consecutive Trump nomination, with 43% saying they would be “enthusiastic” about the idea and another 20% saying they would be “satisfied.”

By contrast, just 31% of respondents said they would be “enthusiastic” about DeSantis as the 2024 nominee and 34% said they would be “satisfied.”

The UNH poll was conducted July 13-17 among 898 likely Republican primary voters with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.3 percentage points.

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
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