Focus Group Reveals Who Voters Say Won Second Debate

( – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was declared the victor of the second Republican primary debate, according to a new poll. While many expected entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy to pull out a win, the 538/Washington Post/Ipsos poll placed him at third, behind DeSantis and Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

Thirty-three percent of viewers who will likely vote Republican said that DeSantis performed the best, while five percent said he had the worst performance. Eighteen percent of respondents said that Haley did the best, with roughly seven percent saying she did the worst. Close behind, 15 percent of respondents said that Ramaswamy did the best, while 10 percent said he did the worst. South Carolina United States Senator Tim Scott received a lukewarm response, with most respondents absent any performance rating in either direction.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Vice President Mike Pence received the worst ratings out of all candidates. Meanwhile, CNN staked out in Iowa to gauge support from voters in the early primary state. During a focus group immediately following the debate, nine people raised their hands for DeSantis when asked who won. Six people voted for Haley, and one person each voted for Ramaswamy and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. No other candidates received a vote, but most agreed that Pence did the worst.

According to Nielsen, the second debate had 3.5 million fewer viewers than the first debate. Many believe that the lack of interest in the Republican debates is due to the commanding lead that former President Trump holds over all other candidates. Trump skipped out on the second debate, opting to speak to a crowd of union workers on strike in Michigan instead.

The debates have been called a “furious scramble for second place,” according to CNN. The outlet notes that DeSantis was previously the clear frontrunner for second place, but that his “star has begun to fade.” Former President Trump’s campaign has already said that he will not take part in the third debate in November. The campaign has also called for the immediate cancellation of all future debates, as they believe the money spent could instead be used to focus on defeating President Biden.

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