News and Analysis

Poll Finds DeSantis Won Debate Vs. Haley

Pollster says GOP voters want "a showdown between DeSantis and Trump."
ALTOONA, IOWA - JANUARY 11: Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the 2024 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit on January 11, 2024 in Altoona, Iowa. Iowa Republicans will be the first to select their party's nomination for the 2024 presidential race when they go to caucus on January 15, 2024.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis won the latest Republican Party presidential primary debate over former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, according to a post-debate poll.

A Daily Mail poll conducted by J.L. Partners found that 55% of viewers said DeSantis won while 31% said that Haley won. Fourteen percent were not sure.

James Johnson, cofounder of J.L. Partners, told the Daily Mail that the outcome of the primary would be determined by whether the field narrowed down to two candidates, thus creating a one-on-one race vs. former President Donald Trump, who is the current frontrunner.

“Republicans who watched the debate last night gave a clear message: that person should be Ron DeSantis,” Johnson said. “He was seen as the winner over Nikki Haley as well as the best to go up against Trump.”

The debate between DeSantis and Haley was intense, with both candidates trading barbs throughout the night, and Haley repeatedly urging viewers to go to a website that her campaign created that showed what they said were fact checks on DeSantis’ attacks.

“Though a different, punchier DeSantis was on display last night, this tallies with what we have known for some time,” Johnson said. “Nationally the Republican primary audience is very socially conservative, does not want the US to get involved in foreign wars, and is one modeled in the image of Donald Trump.”

“DeSantis ticks those boxes more than Haley, and was successful in showcasing those assets last night,” he continued. “The question now is whether he can convert his debate boost into a clear second place showing in Iowa.”


Johnson said that Haley was likely to do better in the New Hampshire primary than in the Iowa caucuses next week because Independent voters can participate in the primary. “This will reduce DeSantis’ chance of getting down to what he and – as our poll shows – the national Republican primary audience most want: a showdown between DeSantis and Trump,” he said.

Weather could play a major factor in the Iowa caucuses, which begin on January 15, as forecasts show that it could be the coldest caucus in the state’s history. The National Weather Service has forecasted that there will be “life-threatening cold” temperatures during the caucus or -25 to -45 degrees.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Poll Finds DeSantis Won Debate Vs. Haley