With the New Hampshire GOP Primary slated for only a few weeks from now, a new 7News presidential poll offered some new insight. Gov. Ron DeSantis is losing ground there as a rival is gaining momentum in the primary race and in a head-to-head contest with President Joe Biden.

Republican primary voters in the Granite State are shaking things up.

In an exclusive 7News/Emerson college poll, it showed that 49% of Republican voters in New Hampshire still favor former President Donald Trump. But former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has surged to second with 18%. She’s followed by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 9%. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has dropped to 7% and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy is polling at 5%. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson got less than 1%.

“For the last year, we’ve been looking at Ron DeSantis/Donald Trump race and now it looks like Nikki Haley is the alternative instead of Ron DeSantis at this point,” said Spencer Kimball, 7News/Emerson College pollster. “You know, about a year ago, Ron DeSantis was at 17%. Now he’s down to 7%. And when we look at a candidate like Nikki Haley, since August, she’s gone from 4% up to 18%.

New Hampshire voters in general also seem to prefer Haley over President Biden.

In a hypothetical presidential matchup, Haley beats Biden, 45% to 39%.

“Where she’s strong is with the independent vote,” Kimball said. “So, while Trump is very strong with Republican voters, Haley is actually competing very closely in the primary with the independent vote.”

Haley is the only Republican in our poll to beat Biden in a hypothetical head-to-head, which also includes Trump.

Forty-seven percent of New Hampshire voters said they would vote for Biden in a repeat of the 2020 matchup. Only 42% of voters would pick Trump.

“We have Nikki Haley and she’s actually beating Biden,” Kimball said. “What we’re really looking at is there potential in the future for more votes for Nikki Haley and there is.”

And then there is the wild card; Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

7News’ poll shows RFK Jr. surging since dropping out of the Democratic contest last month to run as an Independent.

Looking at a general race, which includes Independents, RFK and former Harvard University professor, Cornell West, 7News found that Biden’s lead among New Hampshire voters shrinks from 47% to 40%. Trump’s support drops from 42% to 37%. RFK Jr. pulls in 8% of New Hampshire voters. Cornell west grabs 1%.

“With RFK, what we see is he’s getting his vote from both candidates, an equal 6% come from Biden and 6% come from Trump,” Kimball said. “On the flip side, Cornell West is taking slightly more vote from Biden. So, when you add some of these third party candidates, it’s more of a negative for Biden at this time.”

While Trump is facing legal troubles, 7News’ poll found that GOP voters who currently support the former president, 80% said a criminal conviction won’t change their minds. Only 5% said it would.

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