Former President and 2024 GOP candidate Donald Trump came out on top in a recent poll taken in New Hampshire, the first true primary state.
The statewide poll showed Trump with 37% support, while his next-closest competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, had 26%.
Some in the state thought its governor, Chris Sununu, would make a good president with 13% support, and all other potential candidates including Nikki Haley and Mike Pence got only single-digit support.
Trump support waning?
While Trump still seems to be the front-runner in the New Hampshire GOP field, it is a far cry from the 87% national approval he had when he left office in 2021.
Trump is the only person in the poll who has formally announced candidacy in 2024, so it’s difficult to say what kind of shift might take place when other candidates enter the race.
Furthermore, the number of GOP voters in New Hampshire who are undecided, 18%, is higher than the 11% margin between Trump and DeSantis. If most voters break for DeSantis, should he decide to run, Trump could end up in second place.
While DeSantis has not said he will run for president in 2024, he seems to be making moves to prepare for such a run, and it is widely expected that he will challenge Trump.
Trump attacking DeSantis
Trump has already begun attacks on DeSantis, which shows he views his former ally as a threat.
He coined the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious,” and has said that DeSantis would be nothing without his help in 2018.
Trump also said on Saturday that DeSantis would be “disloyal” if he ran against him.
“I do think it would be a great act of disloyalty because, you know, I got him in. He had no chance. His political life was over,” Trump said.
“He may run”
But Trump had to acknowledge that a challenge is likely coming, since DeSantis cannot run for governor again and will want to take advantage of his political upswing in Florida and growing popularity nationally.
“If he runs, that’s fine. I’m way up in the polls. He’s going to have to do what he wants to do, but he may run,” Trump told The Associated Press. While it is true that Trump still has a polling lead nationally and in New Hampshire, his support is barely more than a third of GOP voters, which is hardly a strong showing.
We need to keep in mind that the GOP primary season is still an entire year away, which means that anything could happen, and many things probably will, before the first vote is even cast.