Fox News Poll: Support for Haley doubles in GOP primary, she tops Biden by four

This is one of three Fox News Polls released Wednesday. See results of Fox News’ polling on border security here and on support for Israel here.

Former President Donald Trump maintains his commanding lead in the Republican presidential contest, but his nomination would unify Democrats in the general election, according to a new Fox News national survey.

Trump receives 59% support among GOP primary voters. He’s been above 50% since March and hit a record 60% in September.

Ron DeSantis remains an extremely distant second — he holds steady at 13%. Nikki Haley registers her best showing yet with 10% support (+5 points), while Vivek Ramaswamy falls back into single digits with 7% (-4 points). All others are below 5%. 

About the same number of voters say they plan to participate in the Democratic (42%) as the Republican primary/caucus (45%) in their state.

Forty-five percent of Democratic primary voters now want to keep President Joe Biden as their party’s presidential nominee, up from 37% in February. Still, a majority of 53% prefers someone else at the top of the ticket. 

Republican primary voters are more settled, with fully 82% saying they are satisfied with their candidate choices.

The 2024 general election matchups remain tight. Despite a job approval rating stuck at 41%, Biden’s support in hypothetical head-to-heads is between 45-49% against each Republican tested. He is preferred over Trump by just 1 point, while DeSantis has a 2-point edge over Biden and Haley tops him by 4 points. This marks the first time in Fox News polling this year that Trump has fared worse against Biden than his rivals for the Republican nomination.

No candidate, however, is truly ‘leading’ as each matchup is within the survey’s margin of error. 

Notably, Haley has gone from trailing Biden by 6 points in August to besting him by 4 points today. She also garners the highest number of defections among Democrats (9% support her), while Trump gets the least (5% of Democrats back him). Bottom line, Democrats are most unified when Biden is running against Trump.

Plus, more voters overall say it would be ‘extremely’ important to show up and vote in a Biden-Trump contest (80%) than if the race is Biden vs. DeSantis (67%) or Haley (63%) — and that heightened motivation holds true for Democrats, Republicans, and independents. 

‘A Biden-Trump rematch starts at pressure-cooker level and keeps Democrats highly united,’ says Chris Anderson, a Democrat who conducts Fox News surveys with Republican Daron Shaw. ‘If Republicans somehow pick someone other than Trump, the pressure immediately drops, and some Democrats might toy with backing the Republican — that doesn’t happen if Trump’s the nominee.’

Meanwhile, compared to the final Biden-Trump 2020 Fox NEws pre-election survey, Biden’s advantage over Trump has narrowed most significantly among Black voters (-17 points), women (-15), and voters under age 45 (-12).

While independents favor the Republican candidate over Biden in each matchup, a caution that those single-digit advantages are insignificant among such a small subgroup.

The new survey, released Wednesday, included two potential three-way matchups with third-party candidates Cornel West and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Kennedy, who announced Monday he will run as an independent instead of as a Democrat, takes about equally from both sides, as 13% of Democrats and 11% of Republicans back him over their party’s candidate. Biden and Trump tie at 41% in this scenario and Kennedy gets 16%.

With West in the race (9%), Biden trails Trump by 2 points (43-45%). Again, roughly equal numbers of Democrats (7%) and Republicans (5%) defect for West. Trump’s narrow advantage comes from independents preferring him (35%) over both West (28%) and Biden (26%).

Independents are more likely to go for Kennedy (41%) than West (28%). That is at the expense of Trump, who performs 9 points better among independents against West than Kennedy.

‘A lot of pundits and practitioners speculate West would draw from Biden and Kennedy would draw from Trump,’ says Shaw. ‘That may prove out over the long run, but third party or independent candidates tend to draw disproportionately from those who are more independent and less engaged, and that checks out in this poll.’


Majorities believe there is a disconnect between the electorate and the leading Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Sixty-four percent of voters say Biden is out of touch with everyday Americans and 59% feel that way about Trump.

More Democrats think Biden is out of touch (30%) than Republicans say the same about Trump (24%), and more independents feel Biden (81%) is detached than Trump (68%). 

Twenty-four percent of those saying Biden is out of touch still back him over Trump, while for Trump that number is 17%. 


Conducted October 6-9, 2023, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,007 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for all registered voters and plus or minus 4.5 points for Democratic and Republican primary voters.

Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.

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