Latest Presidential Polls: GOP Race Heats Up In Early States, But Trump Keeps His Commanding Lead
WATERLOO, IOWA - OCTOBER 07: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives for a rally on October 07, 2023 in Waterloo, Iowa. The rally is the first of two scheduled with the former president in Iowa today.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

As Republican presidential candidates make moves and gain endorsements in Iowa and New Hampshire before the first ballots are cast next month, one stark reality remains for the trailing GOP hopefuls: Donald Trump’s massive polling lead in both states.

In Iowa — a state seen as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ best shot to pull off an early upset — Trump’s lead has grown larger from a week ago as the former president now posts a 30-point polling advantage in the state, according to the RealClearPolitics average. Trump’s lead is slightly smaller in New Hampshire, where he is ahead of the second-place former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley by 25 points.

Haley won a major endorsement in New Hampshire Tuesday night when Republican Governor Chris Sununu publically announced his support for the former South Carolina governor at a campaign event in Manchester. Sununu, a strong Trump critic, endorsed Haley after spending time with both DeSantis and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the campaign trail in the first primary state. 

Sununu’s endorsement was vital for Haley’s campaign after her rival DeSantis secured the endorsement of Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds last month.

Even with the endorsements, DeSantis and Haley will need to cover a lot of ground in the next month to be competitive with the former president. The most recent Iowa poll from NBC News and the Des Moines Register gave Trump a majority of the support in the Hawkeye State at 51% to DeSantis’ 19% and Haley’s 16%. Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (5%), Christie (3.7%), and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (1%) trailed at the bottom of the pack in the Iowa poll. A Trafalgar Group poll of Iowa conducted at the beginning of the month put Trump’s support at 45%, leading DeSantis who came in at 22%, and Haley at 19%. 

In the latest New Hampshire poll conducted over the weekend by the Trafalgar Group, Trump sits at 45%, Haley comes in second at 18%, Christie comes in third at 14%, DeSantis sits in fourth at 11%, and Ramaswamy posts 10%. 


Trump’s good polling also flows into a hypothetical rematch with President Joe Biden. Trump leads the president by 2.3 percentage points in the RCP average as of Wednesday afternoon. In dozens of national polls on the 2024 general election conducted since the beginning of November, Trump has topped most of them, posting as big as six-point advantages over Biden in some polls. 

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