Nearly Half Of Haley Voters In Ohio Say They’d Back Biden: Exit Polls

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley arrives to speak at 44 & King in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Two in 10 to as many as three in 10 Republican primary voters in Ohio continued to resist former President Donald Trump’s 2024 candidacy — and among those supporting Nikki Haley, nearly half in an ABC News exit poll of Ohio’s GOP primary said they’d back Joe Biden in November.

While majorities of respondents expressed fealty toward Trump, the extent of intraparty challenges may matter in what’s expected to be a close contest in November against President Biden. Despite his having sewn up his party’s nomination, 20% of Ohio GOP primary voters would be dissatisfied with Trump as the nominee, exit polling found, while 22% said he lacks the temperament to serve effectively and 28% said he wouldn’t be fit for office if convicted of a crime. (He denies all wrongdoing.)

At the end of the day, 18% said they wouldn’t support Trump in November, with 10% of that number preferring Biden and 8% saying they wouldn’t vote for either. Nationally, 6% of Republicans voted for Biden in 2020. Nonparticipation by some Republicans would be a further risk for Trump.

Much of the criticism of Trump comes from Haley voters, who turned out for Ohio’s primary despite her departure from the race. (Absentee voting in Ohio opened Feb. 21, two weeks before Haley suspended her campaign.)

Among her supporters, 88% would be dissatisfied with Trump as the nominee, 91% said he lacks the temperament for office and 88% said he’d be unfit if convicted. Eight in 10 said they wouldn’t vote for him in the general election, with 47% preferring Biden and 32% saying they wouldn’t vote for either candidate.

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