(NationalUSNews.com) — A recent post-Fox News Republican primary debate poll by The Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight and Ipsos showed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis winning the verbal face-off, but only by a very narrow margin.
The poll results show that 29% of Republican voters thought that DeSantis did best, but billionaire entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy came in a very close second with 26%. Former ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley came in third at 15%.
Pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down lauded the results, saying that the governor was the clear winner. But Ramaswamy was seemingly able to score a boost to his popularity given how the latter managed to steal the show by participating in fiery exchanges with several of the other candidates like Haley (whom he locked horns with on foreign policy), former New Jersey governor and one-time Trump ally Chris Christie (who said Ramaswamy sounded like AI program ChatGPT), and former vice president Mike Pence (whom he tried to get to commit to hypothetically pardoning Trump).
Trump himself did not attend the debate, opting to do a pre-taped interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that aired at the same date and time as the debate. While the former chief executive belittled his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, saying that they were “people that shouldn’t even be running for president,” he praised Ramaswamy for calling him the “best president of the 21st century.”
A poll by Reuters and Ipsos shows that the former chief executive is still a strong favorite among Republicans for a presidential candidate, with 52% of GOP voters saying that they would support his candidacy. DeSantis only secured 13% support.
The Washington Post poll also pointed out that while DeSantis’ favorable rating increased by 10 points (50 to 60), his unfavorable rating saw a bigger jump, climbing by 19 points. In comparison, rating changes for Ramaswamy were similar – his favorable rating increased by 10 points, but his unfavorable rating rose significantly by 25 points.
On the other hand, Haley scored big with a lot of Republican voters, with her favorable ratings for women climbing by 19%, and her approval rising by 30% among GOP voters who tend to rely more on mainstream media rather than conservative news outlets. Favorable ratings also rose by 21% for Haley among nonconservatives, and were up by 24% for Republican voters not considering Trump.
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