Broad popularity driving Trump’s standing in Iowa

Almost three-quarters of likely Republican caucusgoers in Iowa — 72% — have a favorable view of former President Donald Trump, per a new NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll.

That figure gave Trump the highest favorability rating of the 2024 GOP presidential primary candidates in the first state, the poll finds. And the share of GOP voters who have a positive view of him has increased over the last few months, as has his lead in the caucuses.

In August, 65% of this group said they viewed Trump favorably. It was about the same in October, 66%.

Two-thirds of likely Iowa GOP caucusgoers have a favorable view of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a slight decrease from the 69% who said the same in October.

And former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley follows DeSantis this month, with 59% of this group saying they have a favorable view of her. That is on par with the 59% who said the same in October.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy trails Haley, with 46% of poll respondents saying they have a favorable view of him. Just 20% of likely GOP caucusgoers have a positive view of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and 19% say the same about former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Christie, a vocal Trump critic, has the highest unfavorability rating by far of the GOP candidates, with 68% of likely caucusgoers saying they have unfavorable views of the former governor.

The figure who notched the highest favorability rating among likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers is not a 2024 presidential contender — but rather Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of the governor, who endorsed DeSantis last month and has campaigned around Iowa with him since then.