Poll shows Haley ahead of DeSantis but far behind Trump in her home state

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Washington, September 15 (IANS) Indian-American Republican presidential aspirant Nikki Haley is behind her former boss Donald Trump by 28 points, but ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a new poll of likely 2024 GOP primary voters in her home state, South Carolina.

According to the Monmouth University-Washington Post poll released on Thursday, only 18 per cent of likely GOP primary voters in South Carolina said they plan to vote for their former governor, while 46 per cent said they wanted Trump.

Senator Tim Scott came in third place with 10 per cent support and DeSantis followed at 9 per cent, The USA Today reported.

Scales started tipping in Haley's favour, who had been lagging behind in polls with single digits since February, after last month's maiden Republican primary presidential debate.

In a CNN/SSRS poll released earlier this month, Haley emerged as the only Republican presidential candidate who could beat President Joe Biden in the 2024 US elections.

Haley recently told CBS News that she, and not Trump, is going to be the party's 2024 presidential nominee.

"I don't think President Trump's going to be the nominee. I think it's going to be me. But I will tell you that any Republican is better than what Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are doing," Haley had told 'Face the Nation' on CBS.

Conducted between September 6 and 11, the poll also revealed what differentiated Trump voters from other South Carolina GOP voters with close to 81 per cent of Trump voters believing that Joe Biden won the 2020 election through fraud.

Two days before the second GOP primary debate in California on September 27, the former president will bring his campaign back to South Carolina in Summerville.

Republicans who packed into the former South Carolina governor’s events in New Hampshire in recent days described her as "very smart" and a "natural leader", the Politico reported.

They "admire" her work at the United Nations. They even think she "has a good chance" in 2024.

According to Politico, Haley's rise is being blunted by the same force dragging down every candidate running behind Trump: Love him or hate him, many Republicans in New Hampshire say they’re hard-pressed to see a scenario in which Trump is not the GOP nominee for the third consecutive cycle.