Haley Overtakes DeSantis For Second Place In RCP Polling Average

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has officially passed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the RealClearPolitics (RCP) polling average, taking second place in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.

Haley has now reached 11%, according to the RCP polling average as of Wednesday, while DeSantis sits at 10.9%. However, both DeSantis and Haley are still far behind the frontrunner, former President Donald Trump, who currently sits at 62.7% in the RCP average.

Trump has dominated virtually every primary poll for the past several months, while DeSantis has trailed behind by a wide margin. Haley has recently seen a surge in polling, however, which former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has claimed is due to her support among Democrats — as Haley is seen as the “establishment” and “neocon” candidate.

Haley’s slight rise in popularity has led to bickering between her campaign and DeSantis’ campaign, especially as DeSantis was once considered to be the alternative or even the heir to Trump. As the Washington Examiner noted, during the primary, Haley and DeSantis “have fought over their ties to China while in office, the Israel-Hamas war, and their stance on transgender surgeries for minors.”

Haley finally hit double digits in the polls on November 18, receiving 10.4% according to RCP, while DeSantis was still at 14.1% and Trump sat at 59.3%. This rise came ten days after the third Republican Primary Debate in Miami, where Haley sparred with firebrand Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

She also fought with DeSantis during the fourth GOP debate last week in Alabama, where he called her out for her establishment positions in what analysts deemed DeSantis’ best performance yet. Despite this, Haley’s poll numbers have continued to rise.

DeSantis and Haley are the only two candidates participating in the next GOP debate on CNN in Iowa, which is scheduled for January 10. They will also reportedly be participating in town halls on Fox News in Iowa in the days after the debate. This will likely be their last chance to convince Iowans to support their campaigns, as the state is the first to hold their nominating contest — with the Iowa caucuses scheduled for January 15.