This is the first of a three-part series breaking down the Fox News Power Rankings ahead of the 2024 GOP runoff presidential debate.
These rankings put most candidates under Trump in new tiers or positions. The forecast also expects a candidate from each wing to come in first and second place, but a standard-bearer for the conservative wing has yet to emerge.
Trump continues to receive support from a majority of Republicans in the gold-standard national and state polls, and now also enjoys a wider gap between himself and his next closest competitor than any other. other point in the cycle so far.
He remains the clear frontrunner of this race.
WHAT ARE THE FOX NEWS POWER RANKINGS?
Last time, Power Rankings called the next tier of candidates under Trump “contenders.” In other words, candidates who are serious threats to his nomination.
With support for DeSantis’ fall, and little national or statewide polling for the candidates behind him, no one is clearing that bar this time.
Instead, the next tier of candidates are the “challengers.” They all have paths to the nomination, but don’t differentiate themselves enough from the pack to face the frontrunner.
DeSantis still leads this group, albeit by a smaller margin.
Ramaswamy climbed to third place, on the back of consistent improvements in the national polls. The 38-year-old entrepreneur has yet to break out of the single digits in the gold-standard statewide polls.
According to voters, Ramaswamy performed the best of any candidate in the first debate. 35% of people who watched or heard about the event said it “exceeded expectations” (WSJ Poll, August).
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Haley sits close behind, both in terms of her debate performance and her overall position in the Power Rankings. 27% of voters in the same poll say he exceeded expectations in Milwaukee, leaving candidates below him in the dust.
He is making great gains in national and statewide polls. In his home state, for example, he most recently sat at 18% (Monmouth/WaPo Poll, September). However, note that South Carolina only awards delegates to the winner of their primary.
Scott dropped two places. The first debate did not go in his favor, with only 2% of voters saying he exceeded expectations. There are signs that his support is waning in early states.
After a fiery performance in the first debate, Pence is still struggling to find his constituency. He may be leading the populism vs conservatism debate, but for now, voters aren’t listening. He remains in sixth.
Note in the second place
The challengers are also grouped into the wings of the party they usually represent: DeSantis and Ramaswamy on the “populist” wing, and Haley, Scott and Pence on the “conservative” wing.
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Each wing offers a different perspective to voters. Therefore, as candidates drop out, their supporters are more likely to support a like-minded person than switch to another ideology.
As a result, the most likely outcome is that as the field narrows, candidates from both wings of the party will remain.
Therefore, this forecast expects that if Trump continues to lead the race, the second place candidate will likely come from the conservative wing.
None of the conservative wing candidates have yet done enough to distinguish themselves from the pack, so they cannot be placed higher in the individual rankings. It is also possible, although unlikely, that all the leading candidates from the conservative wing will leave the race early.
The second debate will be aired next Wednesday
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Fox Business and Univision will host the second Republican debate next Wednesday, September 27, at 9PM ET, from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.
Your moderators are Fox’s Dana Perino and Stuart Varney, and Univision’s Ilia Calderón.
Live coverage begins at 8PM ET on Fox Business Network and 8:30PM ET on Fox News Channel. The debate will be simulcast on both networks, along with Univision, and streaming partner Rumble.