The race to become president between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump is more competitive in Iowa and New Hampshire than the rest of the country, according to new polls from a top Republican firm.
While national polling has shown Trump taking a significant lead over DeSantis, the new surveys conducted by Public Opinion Strategies show DeSantis is outperforming Trump in the early states where voters pay closer attention.
The surveys, which were provided to Axios, were conducted from March 21 to 23 for an outside client — not a candidate or super PAC.
The polls found that the Florida governor is leading Trump by eight points (45%-37%) in Iowa and tied with Trump (39%-39%) in New Hampshire.
The polls also showed other candidates, including Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and former Vice President Mike Pence, falling behind Trump and DeSantis.
In Iowa, DeSantis’ favorability/unfavorability rating was 81%-11%, whereas Trump’s trailed behind him at 74%-24%. Haley’s favorability/unfavorability stood at 60%-19% and Pence’s was 59%-35%.
Similar ratings were seen in New Hampshire, where DeSantis’ favorability rating was 77%-15% and Trump’s was 69%-29%. Following behind them were Haley with 54%-23% and Pence at 50%-43%.
While DeSantis has largely been touted as the strongest prospective GOP candidate, many Republicans surveyed said they did not see him as the “best candidate to defeat Joe Biden.”
The sign of electability fell short in New Hampshire, where only 48% of those polled said DeSantis was the clear candidate to defeat Biden. Only 46% believed Trump was more electable.
DeSantis seems to have gained slightly more momentum in Iowa, where 54% of those polled said DeSantis was more electable than Biden, compared to 44% for Trump.
Similarly, 68% of Iowa Republicans said they believe DeSantis has a better temperament than Trump. Of those surveyed in New Hampshire, 71% agreed.
In Iowa, DeSantis has seemed to gain slightly more momentum, as 68% of Republicans said they felt he had a better temperament.
The Sunshine State governor recently made headlines after telling Piers Morgan he feels Trump’s constant attempts to provoke him are just “background noise.”
“It’s not important for me to be fighting with people on social media. It’s not accomplishing anything for the people I represent,” he said. “So, we really just focus on knocking out victories, day after day, and if I got involved in all the undertow, I would not be able to be an effective governor.
“So, I don’t think it’s something that makes sense for me.”
While DeSantis also appeared to shade the former president’s leadership style by telling Morgan he runs his state with “no daily drama,” he still has not made an official announcement launching his bid for the White House.
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