CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Coming off the Miami debate, the third of the Republican presidential cycle, FOX 4's Chris Earl and Ryan Kruger break down what is next in the battle for second place.
Former President Donald Trump sat out his third straight debate, having avoided all of the debates for the 2024 campaign. He held a rally in nearby Hialeah, claiming that no one was paying attention to the five-candidate debate in Miami.
Governor Ron DeSantis now finds himself in a battle for second place with former South Carolina governer and ambassador Nikki Haley.
In recent polling for the critical states:
Iowa: Trump averaging 47 percent (per RealClearPolitics.com) in the last three polls, going back to October 6. DeSantis at 17 percent and Haley at 14 percent for average.
The NBC News/Des Moines Register poll has DeSantis and Haley deadlocked at 16 percent. The Register's poll is often seen as the standard for the state's political polling.
New Hampshire presents a trickier backdrop for DeSantis. The most recent poll, ending October 2, has Haley at 19 percent, nearly doubling DeSantis at 10 percent. The former president is holding at 49 percent.
Unlike Iowa, with a thick slice of evangelical or faith-based Republicans, especially in western Iowa, New Hampshire has fewer voters on culture and more focused on jobs and the economy.
DeSantis did pick up the endorsement of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds for the Iowa Caucuses. This is extremely unusual for a sitting governor to endorse a specific candidate for that party's caucuses.
It is noteworthy in that DeSantis and Reynolds are aligned closely politically, even with their electoral histories. Both won slim victories in 2018 before rolling to landslides last year.