Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump are in a statistical tie among likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters, according to a new poll from Rick Shaftan’s Neighborhood Research and Media, but the story of the day is the one-half of one percent of the vote picked up by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who leapfrogged several GOP candidates to finish in a surprising five-way tie for fifth place.
Two of the poll’s 434 respondents indicated a preference for Christie – both white men over age 65 — put him in the same position as Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Liz Cheney and Tulsi Gabbard.
DeSantis leads Trump, 33%-32%, representing a big shift from a July poll that had Trump ahead, 41%-22%.
“The race is fluid based on the news of the week. Trump led 39%-35% in surveys conducted before the Georgia runoff results were in. He then took a bad hit the next two nights, losing by 35%-24%,” said Shaftan. “But that was reversed in this week’s calling after the Twitter Files release where Trump jumped to a 36%-29% lead, so people can interpret this any way they want.
Mike Pence is at 3%, up from 1%.
Christie is up from zero percent in a Neighborhood Research poll from July.
Nearly one-third of the New Hampshire GOP electorate (30%) is undecided.
Christie, who finished sixth in New Hampshire with 7.4% in 2016, shares a pot of 5.4% classified as “others.” Under one percent, but still slightly ahead of Christie, Rubio, Paul, Cheney and Gabbard, is New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
“Nikki Haley’s support has largely evaporated as Tulsi Gabbard becomes a newer and more interesting version of Haley,” Shaftan noted. “The initial fire (Kristi) Noem saw last year has largely disappeared for a variety of reasons. Dan Crenshaw, Mitt Romney, Elon Musk, Donald Trump Jr., and Charlie Baker also received a vote from one of the 434 respondents. The South Africa-born Musk is not eligible to run for president, and Baker announced today that he will become the new NCAA president.
Trump’ favorables among New Hampshire Republicans is at 50%-23%, while DeSantis is at 71%-4% and Pence upside-down at 24%-26%.
“DeSantis is still in the kicking the tires stage,” stated Shaftan.
According to Shaftan, Trump still leads among very conservative voters, those who attend weekly religious services, and Republicans over age 65, “but his margins have dropped significantly there.
“He’s lost his lead with both men and women, overall somewhat conservative and moderate voters,” Shaftan said. “Keep in mind that 54% of Iowa caucus goers attend weekly religious services, versus just 24% of New Hampshire’s GOP primary voters.”
The poll was in the field from December 5-9 and December 12-13 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.7%.