Americans for Prosperity Action endorsed Nikki Haley for President over Ron DeSantis recently, and new polling they released seems to corroborate that at least when it comes to Iowa and New Hampshire, the Koch Network group made the right move.
“In these states, a clear trend can be seen in terms of growing support for Haley and shrinking support for DeSantis amongst GOP primary and caucus-goers, with Haley growing from single digits in early August to now being in second place. In contrast, in this same time period, DeSantis has been static or shrinking,” reads a polling memo from Michael Palmer, AFPA Senior Advisor.
Former President Donald Trump is in the low-40s in both states, a strong lead. But what’s clear from the polling is that Haley has supplanted DeSantis. She leads him 17% to 16% in Iowa, a state where DeSantis visited all 99 counties as of Saturday (the same day the friendly Never Back Down super PAC parted ways with a few high-profile staff members). And in New Hampshire, Haley has 25% support while DeSantis has 9%.
The memo argues that “a plurality of DeSantis voters say they would support Haley as their second choice while DeSantis does not get that level of support from Haley voters.” It also notes that “more of DeSantis’s voters have a favorable image of Haley than the other way around.”
Indeed, DeSantis is underwater in both states with Haley backers, while Haley has net favorable ratings with DeSantis enthusiasts.
DeSantis enjoyed AFP Action backing in both of his campaigns for Governor, which was controversial at the time in both the Primary and General elections. But since they’ve shifted support away from him, he has new criticisms of the organization.
Discussing the endorsement on Newsmax last month, DeSantis argued that Americans for Prosperity “supported open borders” and “Nikki is … very weak on immigration,” which “gives her some synergy with that group.”
DeSantis said that “in someone like Nikki,” Americans for Prosperity sees “somebody that’s going to be more aligned with establishment interests.”