Latest Presidential Polls: All Eyes On Iowa
Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a campaign event at The Vault on October 05, 2023 in Tampa, Florida/Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures after speaking during the Republican Jewish Coalition's Annual Leadership Summit at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas on October 28, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada/Republican presidential candidate former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition's Annual Leadership Summit at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas on October 28, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Joe Raedle/Getty Images/Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As former President Donald Trump continues to dominate national and state polls in the GOP primary, trailing Republican candidates are placing their time, energy, and money on the Iowa caucuses. 

Candidate and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) said last week that for his campaign, “it’s Iowa or bust,” while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has moved a large portion of his campaign staff to the Hawkeye State in an attempt to gain some early momentum and keep his struggling presidential bid alive. Meanwhile, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is gaining ground in Iowa as the caucuses approach. 

But according to the latest polls, Iowa voters still heavily favor Trump as their first-choice candidate as the calendar inches closer to the January 15 caucuses. 

According to an Iowa St./Civiqs survey of 425 likely caucusgoers taken between October 6-10, Trump was the first choice among 55% of them, while DeSantis was at 17%, Haley was at 11%, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy was at 5%, and Scott sat at 4%. For caucusgoers’ second choice, DeSantis led with 22%, above Haley (18%), Ramaswamy (16%), Scott (13%), and Trump (8%). 

Trump’s lead in Iowa wasn’t as large, according to the most recent poll conducted by the Des Moines Register and NBC News. That survey, conducted between October 22-26, found that 43% of caucusgoers picked the former president as their first choice while DeSantis and Haley tied at 16% in what the pollsters said was a big win for Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Haley’s good showing in the poll was bolstered by independents, 22% of whom picked her as their first choice compared to 12% who chose DeSantis. Trump leads among independents with 33% marking him as their first choice. 

DeSantis was the leading candidate for second choice, according to the poll, as 27% of likely caucusgoers said the Florida governor is their second pick compared to 17% who marked Haley as their number two choice. 

There was more good news for Trump in the Des Moines Register/NBC News poll, which found that nearly two-thirds of the Republican caucusgoers who picked Trump said their minds were made up to vote for him as their first-choice candidate. Only 30% of DeSantis voters and 26% of Haley voters said their minds were made up, while 70% of DeSantis voters and 74% of Haley supporters said they could still be persuaded to vote for someone else as their first choice candidate.  

While the poll on its surface didn’t look great for the DeSantis campaign, there was a bright spot for the Florida governor. According to the survey, DeSantis has the same “footprint of support in Iowa” as Trump. The Des Moines Register wrote, “Likely Republican caucusgoers were asked their first choice for president, their second choice and which of the other Republican candidates they were actively considering. The total represents a candidate’s full footprint of support in Iowa, where likely caucusgoers often weigh several candidates before zeroing in on their Caucus Day choice.” 


Both Trump and DeSantis had a footprint of 67%, Haley sat at 54%, Scott was at 49%, and Ramaswamy was at 32%. But with 63% of Trump’s voters saying their minds are made up to go with the former president, trailing candidates have a lot of ground to make up even to make the Iowa race competitive come January 15.

The Real Clear Politics average of Iowa polls shows Trump (48.8%) leading DeSantis (17.3%) by 31.5 percentage points. Haley (11.5%) sits in third place in the state over Scott (6.0%), and Ramaswamy (5.3%). 

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