Oct 30, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Iowa poll: Nikki Haley surges as Ron DeSantis frozen in place

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley is on the rise in Iowa, where she's tied for second in the latest NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll of likely Iowa caucus goers.

Why it matters: The GOP field is otherwise stalemated in the Hawkeye State, and former President Trump is lapping the field with 43% support in the poll.

  • Haley and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) are tied at 16%. Haley was at 6% in the first poll in August. DeSantis was at 19%.

Zoom in: Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is at 7%, compared to 9% in August.

  • Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) are tied at 4%. During an interview with Axios on Tuesday, Ramaswamy predicted a "surprise result" in Iowa.
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence suspended his campaign on Saturday, His 2% support in the poll was redistributed to those voters' second-choice candidates.

The big picture: Iowa Republicans will be first to vote in the 2024 primary calendar.

  • Back in 2016, Trump came in a close second in Iowa to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) before winning New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Between the lines: 41% of those polled said their mind is made up, and 63% of Trump supporters say they're locked in.

  • That's roughly double the share of Haley and DeSantis supporters who are done shopping for a candidate.

The bottom line: "This is a good poll for Donald Trump," said J. Ann Selzer, who conducted the poll and has been surveying Iowa for decades.

  • "For all the things that happened between the last poll and now, he's still the dominant player in the field, and his standing has in fact improved from August."

Editor's note: The poll was conducted Oct. 22-26 with 404 likely Iowa Republican caucus goers with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points.

Go deeper