(LibertySociety.com) – Former President Donald Trump has maintained a commanding lead over all other Republican candidates since he announced a third run for the White House. Despite the legal woes that have been plaguing him this past year, he has continued to do well in polls, and has the advantage of big-name endorsements. In the last several months, Trump has received the endorsements of several powerful lawmakers. Montana Senator Steve Daines, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), endorsed Trump in April 2023. The NRSC is the campaign arm of the Republican Party that helps favored candidates win elections. Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson also threw his support behind Trump back in November. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced his endorsement on January 2, followed by House Majority Whip Tom Emmer on January 3.
Collectively, Trump has received the endorsements of over 100 House Republicans and 19 Senate Republicans. DeSantis and Haley have not fared as well with members of Congress. DeSantis has five endorsements in the House and none in the Senate. Early on, Haley was endorsed by South Carolina Representative Ralph Norman but has not picked up any new congressional endorsements since then, according to The Hill. Some Republican strategists believe that Haley and DeSantis receiving state support from governors and legislators could have more of an impact on voters than congressional lawmaker endorsements. DeSantis has received endorsements from 42 Iowa legislators and 66 New Hampshire legislators, according to his campaign press secretary Bryan Griffin.
DeSantis was also endorsed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds in November 2023 after enjoying two endorsements from Trump for governor. The effect of her support of DeSantis were set to be weighed during Iowa’s caucus on January 15. FiveThirtyEight reports that Trump was polling at 51.3 percent in Iowa as of January 12, with DeSantis coming in third at 16.1 percent behind Haley at 17.3 percent. Haley was endorsed by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu back in December, which slightly lifted her poll numbers in the state. Trump sits at 44 percent in New Hampshire, with Haley in second at 28 percent. DeSantis is polling in fourth place at just seven percent in New Hampshire. Chris Christie is polling in third place, although he officially ended his bid for the White House on January 10.
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