A top poll and a top focus group conducted after the second Republican Party primary debate on Wednesday night found that voters believe that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis won the event.
The new 538/Washington Post/Ipsos poll, conducted in the hours immediately following the debate, found that heading into the evening, voters expected pharmaceutical executive Vivek Ramaswamy to do the best, followed by DeSantis, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. After the debate, voters said that DeSantis did the best, followed by Haley and then Ramaswamy.
When the survey asked respondents who did the best and who did the worst, DeSantis received the most support.
“DeSantis was again the clear winner: 33 percent of likely Republican voters who watched the debate said he performed the best, and only 5 percent said he performed the worst,” the survey said. “Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley ranked second, with 18 percent rating her as the strongest debater and only 7 percent rating her as the worst.”
The survey found that 15 percent said that Ramaswamy did the best, while 10 percent said that he did the worst. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) “didn’t inspire a lot of strong feelings either way,” the survey added. Those who performed the worst, according to the poll, were former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Vice President Mike Pence.
CNN conducted a separate focus group in Iowa immediately following the debate, and most of the participants said that DeSantis won the debate.
When asked to raise their hands to vote, nine people voted for DeSantis, six voted for Haley, one voted for Burgum, one voted for Ramaswamy, none voted for Christie, none voted for Pence, and none voted for Scott. When the group was asked who had a bad night, the seeming consensus was Pence, with the moderator acknowledging “you’re all saying Pence.”