Florida Gov. DeSantis slips to third place in New Hampshire poll, falls behind former New Jersey Gov. Christie

 August 17, 2023

A new poll out of the early primary state of New Hampshire shows that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has slipped to third place in the Republican presidential primary race behind former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, according to Breitbart.

That is notable because since even before he formally entered the Republican presidential primary race, Gov. DeSantis routinely polled in a solid second place among the field -- well behind the undisputed frontrunner, former President Donald Trump, but also well ahead of the rest of the pack of GOP candidates.

DeSantis falls to third behind Christie in NH poll

The pollsters at Emerson College surveyed 498 registered Republican voters in New Hampshire between August 9-11, with a margin of error around 4.9%. They found that former President Trump maintained a commanding lead over his GOP rivals with 49% support.

In a change from prior polling, however, former Gov. Christie rose to second place among Granite State Republicans with 9%, followed by Gov. DeSantis in third place with 8% support.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott was in fourth place with 6% support while North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former United Nations Ambassador -- and former South Carolina governor -- Nikki Haley were tied for fifth place with 4%. All others garnered 3% or less except "undecided," which was the choice of 13% of those polled.

"DeSantis has been the alternative to Trump in Emerson polling this presidential cycle," Executive Director Spencer Kimball said. "This is the first time we have seen DeSantis drop out of second place in our polling, and fall back into the pack of candidates."

Other NH poll shows DeSantis tied for second with Christie

As shocking as those poll results may be to some analysts and observers, it actually doesn't appear to be too much of an outlier, as a separate poll of New Hampshire voters earlier in August also showed that the Florida governor was losing support while the former New Jersey governor was gaining momentum.

The NH Journal/co-efficient poll, which surveyed 862 likely Republican voters between August 5-7 with a margin of error of 3.3%, found that former President Trump led the field with 43% support from GOP voters in the Granite State.

In a tie for second place, both DeSantis and Christie drew 9 percent support, while Haley placed fourth with 7% and fifth place featured a tie between Scott and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy with 5% support.

However, similar to the Emerson poll, this survey also found that 13 percent of voters remained undecided at this point in the Republican primary race.

Race for second place tightens in RCP average

It would appear that neither of those two recent polls has been factored into the RealClearPolitics average of polls, as Gov. DeSantis clearly remains in second place with around 14.8% support among Republican primary voters.

The Florida governor trails nearly 40 points behind former President Trump, with an average of 54.6% support, but remains comfortably ahead of third-place Ramaswamy with 6.7%. And, despite his apparent rise in New Hampshire, former Gov. Christie is mired in seventh place in the RCP average with just 2.3% support.

That said, even though he continues to hold on to second place overall, RCP's graph of all of the candidates over time shows that support for DeSantis is unmistakably on the decline and has been reduced by roughly half since the end of March when he garnered the support of around 30% of GOP voters.

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