Nikki Haley surges into second place with 15 percent, ahead of Ron DeSantis, but Trump STILL dominates GOP race with 59 percent in new poll
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  • Haley was the subject of repeated attacks in Wednesday night’s debate
  • She is up 7 points since September in Wall Street Journal poll 

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Nikki Haley took most of the barbs in Wednesday night’s presidential debate, and a new poll reveals why: she has climbed to second place in a new poll that still has her far behind Donald Trump.

Haley, who was mocked as ‘corrupt’ by entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy even while fellow contender Chris Christie defended her intellect Wednesday night, trails the former president by more than 40 percentage points, with the Iowa Caucuses just weeks away. He also called Ramaswamy a ‘jack***.’

The former South Carolina governor is at 15 per cent in the latest Wall Street Journal poll, well behind Trump, who holds a commanding lead at 59 per cent, and who was expected to make another appearance at his New York fraud trial Thursday.

Trump skipped the NewsNation debate in Tuscaloosa, instead holding a Miami fundraiser a night after appearing on a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity where he was asked about exacting retribution and critics who say he would become a dictator. ‘Except for Day One,’ Trump responded.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is at 15 per cent in a new Wall Street Journal poll, well behind Donald Trump, who is at 59 per cent

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is at 15 per cent in a new Wall Street Journal poll, well behind Donald Trump, who is at 59 per cent

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is at 15 per cent in a new Wall Street Journal poll, well behind Donald Trump, who is at 59 per cent

Nikki Haley has surged in recent polling, but still trails former President Donald Trump

Nikki Haley has surged in recent polling, but still trails former President Donald Trump

Nikki Haley has surged in recent polling, but still trails former President Donald Trump

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who Haley supplanted as the Number Two contender to Trump in the poll, is on her heels at 14 per cent.

Haley’s numbers are up 7 percentage points from September, when she was at 8 per cent in the poll, with Trump holding steady and DeSantis ticking up from 13, which was itself a steep drop from where he was in the spring. 

DeSantis, who has rapped Trump for skipping debates, also went after Haley Wednesday night.  

You've got a friend: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christi defended Haley on the debate stage Wednesday night

You've got a friend: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christi defended Haley on the debate stage Wednesday night

You’ve got a friend: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christi defended Haley on the debate stage Wednesday night

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy held up a sign calling her 'corrupt.' Rivals went after Haley in the NewsNation debate, a sign of her rise

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy held up a sign calling her 'corrupt.' Rivals went after Haley in the NewsNation debate, a sign of her rise

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy held up a sign calling her ‘corrupt.’ Rivals went after Haley in the NewsNation debate, a sign of her rise

Trump was back in a Manhattan courthouse Thursday for his fraud trial

Trump was back in a Manhattan courthouse Thursday for his fraud trial

Trump was back in a Manhattan courthouse Thursday for his fraud trial

‘She caves any time the left comes after her. She will cave to the donors,’ he said. 

Haley was nonplussed, declining to respond to some of Ramaswamy’s most vicious attacks. 

‘I love all the attention fellas, thank you for that,’ she quipped.

No other candidate made it into double digits, according to the Journal, which did not release detailed results. 

Trump, meanwhile, continues to mock his rivals for taking part in a ‘little league’ contest, even after being told by rivals that he lacked courage for sitting on his lead.

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