A poll conducted by Neighborhood Research, a firm owned by GOP political consultant and New Jersey veteran Rick Shaftan – puts former President Donald Trump with a 56%-12% lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the first choice among likely participants in the 2024 Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is pursuing a second bid for the GOP presidential nomination, did not register beyond zero percent in the poll.
While 21% of Republican caucusgoers said they were undecided, seven other potential candidates registered above zero: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (2.1%), Senator Tom Cotton (1.6%), former Vice President Mike Pence (1.6%), and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley (1.1%). The senators – Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Tim Scott – were at 0.8%.
According to the Shaftan poll, when second choice votes are counted, Trump was at 62%, followed by DeSantis (38%), Noem (4%), Pence (3%), Cruz (3%) and Haley (2%). After adding in third choice votes, Trump is at 65%, and DeSantis at 39%.
“Should Trump choose not to run, DeSantis becomes the immediate frontrunner and Republicans across America will be tripping over each other to endorse him first,” Shaftan said. “DeSantis knows this and that gives him the ability to hang back and play it cool.”
During his unsuccessful presidential run in 2016, Christie received just 3,284 votes in Iowa, 1.8%.