Iowa Poll: Trump Leads as Haley Jumps to Third, DeSantis Stagnant

Former President Donald Trump is leading in Iowa as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis remains stagnant behind him, the latest Fox News poll found.

The survey, taken September 14-18, 2023, among 813 Republican Iowa caucus goers, found Trump standing as the steady frontrunner with 46 percent support, maintaining the 46 percent support he saw in July 2023.

While DeSantis remained in second place, he has experienced no positive movement over the past two months; rather, he has fallen from 16 percent support to 15 percent.

Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, during a campaign stop at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, US, on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has risen to third place, jumping from five percent support in July to 11 percent in September — just four points behind DeSantis.

Both South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and anti-woke businessman Vicki Ramaswamy tie for fourth place in the Hawkeye State with seven percent support each.

The Fox poll also found that 91 percent of Trump’s supporters “strongly” support him, and his support is, more broadly, growing as “60% of Iowa GOP caucus-goers say they would ‘definitely’ back him as the GOP nominee, up from 55% in July,” per Fox News.

DeSantis’s failure to put a dent in Trump’s lead in Iowa comes despite the fact that his campaign was revamped in July, laying off dozens of staffers and changing out his campaign manager. That same month, a memo leaked revealing the DeSantis campaign’s strategy moving forward, which involved focusing primarily on the first three states voting — New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina.

The memo stated in part:

Ron DeSantis is running a campaign to win everywhere. It would be a mistake to take a paid media and field program off the table in service of other states, we will not cede New Hampshire. From what we can tell, pro-DeSantis efforts are currently and will continue to run a robust effort in Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, that includes paid media and field.
While Super Tuesday is critically important, we will not dedicate resources to Super Tuesday that slow our momentum in New Hampshire. We expect to revisit this investment in the Fall.

But, despite what are presumably his best efforts, he has failed to expand his base. The Trump campaign has recognized this and is gearing up to deliver what has been described as a “knockout punch” to the Florida governor’s presidential campaign, with the former president ramping up his efforts in the Hawkeye State now into October.

As Breitbart News detailed Monday:

The Trump campaign is keenly aware of the DeSantis campaign’s struggles, as he even failed to see a boost in the polls after the first GOP debate. With that, the Trump campaign is seeking to usher in the end of DeSantis’s campaign by “beefing up their efforts in Iowa, hoping to deliver the type of knock-out punch that would effectively end the Florida governor’s bid and send a message to the other campaigns to get out of the way,” Politico reported.
According to reports, Trump has visited the Hawkeye State seven times this year and is, according to Politico, “embarking on a ‘Team Trump Caucus Commitment’ organizing event in Iowa with campaign volunteers at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Maquoketa,” and delivering a speech at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque this week. The Iowa blitz will not end there either, as Trump is expected to visit the state at least three more times in the first half of October, with possibly more stops following that.
Coinciding with that is the pro-Trump Super PAC MAGA Inc. spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising in the Hawkeye State this week alone.

Trump even delivered a massive immigration speech in Dubuque, Iowa, Wednesday, where he promised to carry out “the largest domestic deportation operation in American history” in the pattern of the Eisenhower model, should he get another term.

Thursday’s RealClearPolitics (RCP) average shows DeSantis trailing Trump in Iowa by an average of 34.4 percent.

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