Donald Trump remains miles ahead of his Republican counterparts, a new national poll shows – despite four arrests, a historic mugshot, and not attending this week’s GOP debate where many of his rivals had a strong showing.
Organized by InsiderAdvantage, the survey of likely Republican voters showed the former president, despite his controversies, has a full 27 percent lead over his closest second in Ron DeSantis, and 34 percent over South Carolina’s Nikki Haley.
Next was the man many thought won the noticeably Trump-less debate, biotech millionaire Vivek Ramaswamy, who recently beat out DeSantis as the perceived winner in a poll organized by DailyMail.com. Here, he only scored fourth, with 7 percent.
As for any other significant challengers, the poll of some 850 prospective voters found no real contenders – with debate attendees like Tim Scott, Chris Christie, and Mike Pence recording scores of 4 percent, 3 percent, and 2 percent, respectively.
Conducted after the debate, it also indicated a trend of rising support for both polls’ runner up in DeSantis, as well as fellow debate standout Haley. That said, both remain well behind the embattled ex-head of state.
Donald Trump remains miles ahead of his Republican counterparts, a new national poll shows – despite four arrests, a historic mugshot, and not attending the this week’s GOP debate where many of his rivals had a strong showing
Organized by InsiderAdvantage , the survey of likely Republican voters showed the former president, despite his controversies, has a double digit-lead over the rest of the GOP
InsiderAdvantage chairman Matt Towery issued the following statement about the results Thursday, mentioning how thanks to impressive performances in Wisconsin, DeSantis, Haley, and Ramaswamy should not be considered not out of the race.
‘Although our survey showed that Vivek Ramaswamy won the debate by a narrow margin, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley were the two major beneficiaries of the debate when it came to the actual horserace’, Towery said,
‘With a vast majority of respondents disagreeing with Trump’s decision not to debate, Trump held his lead,’ Towery continued, ‘but now has several candidates still alive in the race for the nomination.’
Citing scores of 18 percent for DeSantis and 11 percent for Haley, the expert added: ‘Our InsiderAdvantageAI debate reports indicated that Ramaswamy, DeSantis, and Haley had big nights Wednesday, but only DeSantis’s efforts, followed by Haley’s, had an impact on the actual race.’
As for Pence, Scott, and Christie, Towery said the study found they ‘had debate performances that either failed to enhance or actually diminished their standings.’
DailyMail’s debate poll on Thursday placed the trio in third, fourth, and sixth-place, respectively – thanks to lukewarm performances that while not outright awful, failed to impress.
More powerful performances from figures like DeSantis – who managed to stay above much of the fray seen Wednesday – and newcomer Ramaswamy were more successful in swaying voters.
The person closest to Trump, the poll found, was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose debate performance saw him record an 8 percent increase from a previous poll, to a score of 18 percent
Trump also maintained a 34 percent over ex-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, whose debate performance saw her double her following, but still only record 11 percent of the vote
Next was the man many thought won the noticeably Trump-less debate, biotech millionaire Vivek Ramaswamy, a newcomer whose blows with opponents such as ex Vice President Mike Pence made him the focal point of the Wisconsin event
The results somewhat coincide with a DailyMail.com poll conducted Friday, which placed Ramaswamy as the debate winner, with DeSantis a close runner up
Political consultant Ryan Girdusky told The New York Post Saturday – a day after DailyMail’s debate poll placed DeSantis, 44, barely behind the 38-year-old pharmaceutical mogul – that he believed the Florida governor was the biggest threat to Trump.
‘DeSantis performed well in the debate and I think at times looked like the most presidential candidate on the stage,’ Girdusky told the paper of DeSantis’s showing, which focused on subjects like the economy, security at the border, and empower parents and law enforcement.
‘The biggest issues Republican voters are thinking about this cycle are crime, immigration, and the economy and on all three issues, DeSantis was far better than the rest of the field,’ the expert said,
Wednesday was also billed as a make-or-break moment for DeSantis, a chance to reboot his campaign after weeks of dipping poll numbers and negative headlines.
The results suggest that while he did not suffer a poor performance, he has yet to cement his position as the candidate most likely to overtake frontrunner Donald Trump.
His campaign manager James Uthmeier said DeSantis had managed to stay above the fray of squabbling rivals.
‘While other candidates attacked each other, Governor DeSantis stayed focused on the American people and fighting for their future with a clear vision to fix our economy, secure the border, empower parents, back law enforcement, and stand up to the leftist elites and the DC establishment,’ he said.
At times, DeSantis ended up an onlooker as the two candidates either side of him traded blows
Ramaswamy also managed to use the primetime stage to introduce himself to an audience that might not have heard of him before
He may have risen above the fray, but at times that meant he was relegated to onlooker while Ramaswamy was in the thick of things.
‘The real choice we face in this primary is this: Do you want a Super PAC puppet?’ asked Ramaswamy, as he took on his opponents. ‘Or do you want a patriot who speaks the truth? Do you want incremental reform, which is what you’re hearing about, or do you want revolution?’
But those punches also made him a target.
‘Now is not the time for on-the-job training,’ said Pence, who tried to position himself as the most experienced candidate in the field.
‘We don’t need to bring in a rookie. We don’t need to bring in people without experience.’
Christie, who has centered his campaign on attacking Trump, also weighed in. He updated his famous 2016 attack on Marco Rubio, slamming Ramaswamy as ‘a guy who sounds like ChatGPT.’
And Haley, who was United Nations ambassador under Trump, clashed with him over his failure to back Ukraine in its war with Russia.
‘You have no foreign policy experience and it shows,’ she told him.
But the blows only made Ramaswamy stronger, according to his allies.
Ron DeSantis gets his makeup touched up during a commercial break
‘You have no foreign policy experience and it shows,’ said Nikki Haley, former US ambassador to the UN under Donald Trump
‘Seven career politicians took a swing at Vivek and they couldn’t knock him down,’ said his senior adviser Chris Grant.
Not only that but he managed to use the debate to introduce himself to an audience that might not have heard of him before.
‘First let me address the question that is on everybody’s mind at home tonight. Who the heck is this skinny guy with a funny last name and what the heck is he doing in the middle of the debate stage?,’ he said during his first answer.
‘I am not a politician. You are right about that. I am an entrepreneur. My parents came to this country with no money 40 years ago. I have gone on to found multibillion dollar companies.’
Jason Miller, senior adviser to Trump, said the performance was enough to kill off the DeSantis campaign.
‘We saw Vivek Ramaswamy leapfrog Ron DeSanctus in real time this evening,’ he said in the spin room after the debate.
‘I think we’re gonna wake up tomorrow and Ramaswamy is comfortably in second place.’