DES MOINES, Iowa – A new poll in Iowa released four days before the state’s caucuses lead off the Republican presidential nominating calendar suggests that former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has moved past Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for a distant second place behind former President Trump.

According to a Suffolk University survey of 500 Iowa voters likely to participate in Monday’s GOP presidential caucuses, Trump stands at 54% support, with Haley at 20% and DeSantis at 13%.

The poll was conducted from Jan. 6-10, when Haley and DeSantis faced off in a prime-time debate in Iowa, while Trump simultaneously took part in a Fox News town hall.

Multimillionaire biotech entrepreneur and first-time candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who has relentlessly campaigned across the Hawkeye State the past couple of months, stood at 6% support in the poll.


Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who did not campaign in Iowa this cycle as he concentrated nearly all his efforts on New Hampshire, which holds the first primary in the GOP calendar votes eight days after Iowa , registered at 2% in the survey. 

Christie suspended his campaign on Wednesday at a town hall in New Hampshire. With Christie out of the race, Suffolk University Political Research Center director David Paleologos highlighted that Haley’s support in Iowa edged up to 22% in his new survey.


DeSantis, who was convincingly re-elected to a second term as Florida governor 14 months ago, was once the clear alternative to Trump in the Republican White House race. He was solidly in second place behind Trump, who remains the commanding frontrunner as he makes his third straight presidential bid.

However, after a series of campaign setbacks over the summer and autumn, DeSantis saw his support in the polls erode.

Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, grabbed momentum during the autumn, thanks to well-regarded debate performances. In recent weeks, she caught up with DeSantis for second place in polls in Iowa and in national surveys. 

Haley also surpassed DeSantis and surged to second place and narrowed the gap with Trump in New Hampshire.

DeSantis appears to have staked much of his presidential campaign on a strong finish in Iowa. He has highlighted that he has stopped in all 99 of the state’s counties and showcased his strong grassroots outreach organization in Iowa. Pundits have labeled Iowa a “do-or-die” state for the Florida governor.

Last month, in multiple interviews, even though he was down double digits in the polls to Trump in Iowa, DeSantis predicted victory.

“We’re going to win Iowa. We’ve got the organization in place,” the governor declared in a Fox News Digital interview in Bettendorf, Iowa, a week before Christmas.

On Tuesday, however, when asked at a Fox News town hall in Iowa about his finish in the state, DeSantis twice answered “we’re going to do well.”

“I kind of like having lower expectations, to be honest with you,” he added. “I’ve been an underdog my whole life and everything I’ve ever done.”

He argued that “the media has kind of tried to go at me a little bit on that… Let them say that. We have it within our power to prove them wrong, and we will do that.”

Paleologos told Fox News that “the poll shows the risk of a candidate going all-in. DeSantis’ efforts and commitment to all 99 Iowa counties has yielded a high popularity, and he is the top second-choice of all the candidates.”

However, he added that “second choice doesn’t get you far in the Iowa Caucuses. It’s highly improbable that he beats Trump at this point and he’ll have to scramble and fight hard just to finish second.”

The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

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