Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received high praise for their performances in Wednesday night’s primary debate, according to a poll conducted exclusively for DailyMail.com. The survey asked 546 Republicans to rate the candidates’ performances on a scale of one to ten, with Ramaswamy receiving the highest rating at 6.9 and DeSantis following closely behind at 6.5. The lowest-rated candidate was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who received a 4.6 rating and was also voted the ‘most annoying’ by respondents.
The poll revealed that Ramaswamy had the highest percentage of Republicans who believed he won the debate, while Christie had the highest percentage of respondents who thought he lost. Among the other candidates, former Vice President Mike Pence received 11% of votes for winning the debate, while Nikki Haley and Tim Scott received 7% each. The poll also showed that DeSantis was seen as the most competent candidate, with 26% of respondents choosing him, while Haley was considered the ‘most charming’ by 11% of Republicans.
Despite their strong performances, the survey indicated that the Republican electorate remains heavily influenced by former President Donald Trump. A total of 27% of respondents believed that Trump was the real winner of the debate, despite his absence. Pollster James Johnson noted that Trump-leaning voters favored Ramaswamy in the absence of the former president on stage. Overall, Johnson concluded that the race appears unchanged, with DeSantis performing well but not standing out significantly.
In conclusion, Ramaswamy and DeSantis were the top performers in the debate, impressing Republicans with their performances. However, the survey highlighted the continued influence of Trump among the Republican electorate, with a significant number of respondents believing he was the real winner of the debate. Despite strong showings from other candidates like Haley and Scott, the race remains largely unchanged, according to pollster James Johnson.