Conservative pundits reacted to Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate by calling for a narrowing of the field while also concluding, with a poll following the debate, that Gov. Ron DeSantis is the candidate in the best position to run against former President Trump.
“Honestly, nothing personal, but I felt like Nikki Haley won the disgusting title in this debate,” conservative commentator Mark Levin said. posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “A lot of personal attacks. His record as governor is also pretty weak. Scott started to address it. Pence, Burgham, Christie need to go. DeSantis was very solid. Actually there was a little time. But time to thin the hed. “
“The DeSantis strategy is great in Iowa, the bottom three or four candidates should drop out at this point, they have no hope,” Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz told FOX Business.
“It’s a two-man race at this point,” political commentator Rob Smith posted on X. “I believe DeSantis is going to surprise Iowa and New Hampshire, and it’s going to completely reset the conversation. I’m not getting paid to promote anybody, I’m calling it as I see it.”
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Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts posted on X that the debate between Trump and DeSantis was “the debate Americans want regardless of their preferred candidate.”
“Tonight’s debate, which was a sideshow, underscored the need for this idea. America deserves it.”
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A 538/Washington Post/Ipsos poll after the debate found that a majority of voters, 33%, felt DeSantis performed the best, and 54% ranked his performance as good or excellent, the highest of any candidate.
“DeSantis is the only candidate whose favorability rating rivals Donald Trump’s, even though more primary voters are considering voting for Trump than for DeSantis,” the poll said.
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“Although Trump and DeSantis command the GOP primary field among self-identified Republicans, it is likely that Republican primary voters who identify as independents are split between Trump, DeSantis, and Haley.”