Donald Trump’s Chances of Beating Joe Biden Compared to Nikki Haley’s

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As Nikki Haley and Donald Trump prepare to face off in the critical New Hampshire primaries this week, Haley has made her electability a key component of her pitch to Republican voters.

Haley, a former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina governor, has argued she is better suited to beat President Joe Biden in a general election than former President Trump. She has pointed to Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election, as well as Republican losses in recent years, as to why the party needs new leadership.

The Koch Network, which endorsed Haley last year, released a memo following Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ exit from the GOP primary race issuing a warning about Trump’s ability to win the general election. The memo, reported by Puck News, argues Trump may lose to Biden in the general election, particularly if he is convicted in one of his criminal cases. Trump maintains his innocence in all cases.

“There is no question that Nikki Haley wins in a head-to-head contest with Joe Biden. Some polls have her up as much as 12 points in swing states like Michigan. She consistently outperforms Donald Trump by wide margins. Nikki Haley is by far the strongest candidate to win in November,” the memo reads.

Newsweek reached out to the Trump and Haley campaigns for comment via email.

Donald Trump (L) in Columbus, Georgia, on June 10, 2023, and Nikki Haley in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 15, 2024. Polls show Haley leading Joe Biden by a wider margin than Trump.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s Chances of Beating Joe Biden

While some polls suggest Haley may poll stronger than Trump in the general election, many continue to show Trump leading Biden, who has faced backlash over voter perceptions of the economy and his handling of immigration in recent months.

A YouGov poll conducted from January 10 to 12 among likely voters found Trump leading Biden by two percentage points nationwide. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Fifty percent of respondents said they would vote for Trump, while 48 percent said they’d back Biden.

During the 2020 election, Biden beat Trump by 4.5 percentage points nationwide, resulting in an Electoral College victory of 306 to 232, as he won very narrow victories in key swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Nikki Haley’s Chances of Beating Joe Biden

Meanwhile, that same poll found Haley winning an even more substantial victory over Biden. Haley led Biden by eight percentage points in the poll, winning 53 percent of support from respondents. Biden received 45 percent in this hypothetical matchup.

Donald Trump’s Chances of Beating Joe Biden in Swing States

Polls of crucial swing states show Trump with a lead over Biden.

A VCreek/AMG poll conducted among 694 likely voters from December 1 to 8 found Trump with a 5-point lead in Arizona. The poll found Trump winning 46 percent of the vote, with Biden receiving 41 percent. Five percent said they were unsure, while 8 percent said they would not vote for either candidate.

In Michigan, Trump holds an 8-point lead over Biden, according to the latest poll by The Detroit News and WDIV-TV, which found 39 percent of respondents saying they would back Biden and 47 percent saying they’d vote for Trump in November.

That poll surveyed 600 likely voters from January 2 to 6 and had a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Meanwhile, a CNN poll of 1,068 registered voters in Georgia found Trump leading Biden by 5 percentage points in the Peach State. Forty-four percent of voters said they would vote for Biden, while 49 percent said they would vote for Trump. The poll, conducted from November 30 to December 7, had a margin of error of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Nikki Haley’s Chances of Beating Joe Biden in Swing States

Polls similarly have found Haley leading Biden in crucial swing states, and often by a wider margin than Trump.

In Arizona, a matchup between Biden and Haley found Haley with a larger lead but more uncertainty, according to the VCreek/AMG poll. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they would vote for Haley, while 30 percent said they’d back Biden. Eight percent remained unsure, while a quarter of voters said they would vote for someone else.

The poll conducted by The Detroit News and WDIV-TV found Haley winning a matchup against Biden by 10 percentage points. Forty-four percent of respondents said they would vote for her, while 34 percent said they would vote for Biden.

In Georgia, Haley led by 6 points, winning support from 49 percent of respondents compared to Biden’s 43 percent, according to the CNN poll.