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Updated January 14th, 2024 at 14:29 IST

Nikki Haley's Iowa Rise Alters Landscape, Puts Pressure on DeSantis

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has emerged with a lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Sagar Kar
Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley | Image:AP
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In the last poll of likely Iowa caucus goers ahead of Monday's crucial vote, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has emerged with a lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. While former President Trump is anticipated to secure a substantial victory, DeSantis is pinning significant hopes on securing a strong second-place finish in Iowa.

The NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll indicates a slight decline in Trump's numbers, with 48% of likely caucus goers favoring him, down from 51% in December. Nikki Haley has seen an increase to 20%, up from 16% in the same period, surpassing DeSantis, who has slipped to 16% from 19%. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy stands at 8%, up from 5% in December.

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Is a surprise on the cards?

As the candidates jockey for position, historical context suggests that Iowa's GOP caucuses often present surprises. The last two caucuses in 2016 and 2012 witnessed unexpected outcomes despite pre-caucus polls.

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Trump and DeSantis enjoy higher levels of "extremely enthusiastic" supporters, with Trump at 49% and DeSantis at 23%, compared to Haley's 9%, as noted by pollster J. Ann Selzer. Selzer cautioned that Haley's apparent strength in the poll may not fully translate on caucus night.

The impending weather forecast adds an unpredictable element to the Iowa caucuses. With a forecasted high of -1°F in Des Moines on Monday, the turnout and enthusiasm of voters could be significantly impacted.

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While Trump is expected to dominate the Iowa caucuses, the spotlight is now on Nikki Haley, whose potential to deal a significant blow to DeSantis adds a layer of intrigue to the unfolding political dynamics in the Hawkeye State.

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Published January 14th, 2024 at 14:29 IST

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