A poll conducted by J.L. Partners for DailyMail.com suggests that Vivek Ramaswamy has emerged as the winner of the first 2024 Republican debate, narrowly beating Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The poll, which surveyed 504 registered Republicans who watched the debate, showed that 28 percent of respondents believed the biotech entrepreneur performed best, just one point ahead of DeSantis, who scored 27 percent.
Ramaswamy’s performance in the debate was notable for its combative nature, as he engaged with opponents such as former Vice President Mike Pence. Despite being a relatively unknown candidate, Ramaswamy quickly became a focal point of the debate.
The results of the poll also indicated that former Vice President Mike Pence secured third place with 13 percent, followed by Senator Tim Scott at eight percent and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at seven percent.
A Narrow Win
The poll results also factored in absent former President Donald Trump. Even with Trump included in the questions, Ramaswamy still came out on top, with 22 percent of respondents declaring him the “real winner,” compared to 20 percent who favored Trump.
Ramaswamy’s unexpected rise in popularity reflects the impact of his outsider message, which has resonated with voters. National polls have shown a surge in Ramaswamy’s numbers, positioning him as a formidable contender and even placing him ahead of DeSantis in some surveys.
The Republican debate featured eight candidates in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as they vie for the 2024 Republican nomination. Notably, former President Donald Trump chose not to participate in the debate, opting for an interview with Tucker Carlson at his Bedminster golf course, which aired on the same evening.
The debate was seen as a crucial moment for DeSantis to rejuvenate his campaign, which had faced declining poll numbers and negative headlines in recent weeks. While the poll results indicated that DeSantis did not make any significant mistakes, he has yet to solidify his position as the frontrunner to challenge Donald Trump.
Ramaswamy’s strong performance during the debate helped him to introduce himself to a broader audience and solidify his position as a serious contender in the 2024 Republican race. His ability to engage with other candidates and convey a compelling message made him a standout figure in the event.
In the wake of the debate, some believe that Ramaswamy’s performance has the potential to reshape the Republican primary race, with one senior adviser to Trump suggesting that Ramaswamy could comfortably secure second place as support for DeSantis wavers.
Trump Sings Vivek’s Praises
Trump, who chose not to participate in Wednesday’s debate, lauded tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy as the victor of the event. However, Trump’s praise wasn’t solely based on Ramaswamy’s debate performance but rather his unwavering support for the former president.
During the debate, Ramaswamy made a bold declaration in support of Trump, stating, “President Trump, I believe, was the best president of the 21st century.” This statement was quickly shared by Trump on his Truth Social platform. Trump, in his characteristic style, commended Ramaswamy for his stance.
Trump’s post on Truth Social read, “This answer gave Vivek Ramaswamy a big WIN in the debate because of a thing called TRUTH. Thank you Vivek!”
Ramaswamy emerged as one of the standout performers on the Milwaukee debate stage. He actively participated in the discussions, fielded multiple attacks from fellow candidates, and demonstrated a strong presence throughout the event.
But Ramaswamy’s defense of Trump didn’t stop at mere words. He also became the first candidate to raise his hand when asked who would support Donald Trump as the party’s nominee if the former president were to be convicted on any of the felony charges he currently faces.
“Join me in making a commitment that one day you would pardon Donald Trump,” Ramaswamy challenged former Vice President Mike Pence, who, for the most part, evaded giving a direct answer.
As the race progresses, it is clear that Trump’s shadow looms large over the party, and candidates like Vivek Ramaswamy are positioning themselves to harness that influence to their advantage.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.
From the Vault