DeSantis Skewers Haley in Final Debate Before Iowa, New Poll Finds

According to a snap poll published just hours after the event, Governor Ron DeSantis was the clear winner of Wednesday’s CNN debate. DeSantis faced former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley in a bitter one-on-one showdown in the final GOP presidential debate before the Iowa Caucuses.

The snap poll found that 55 percent of debate viewers believe that DeSantis gave the best performance–a far cry from the meager 31 percent who answered Haley. A further 14 percent answered “I don’t know.” A total of 453 viewers were surveyed by pollster J.L. Partners, whose results were published by the Daily Mail.

The two candidates’ polling numbers are virtually tied for second place in Iowa. With only four days remaining before voting begins, opportunities to gain the upper hand are running out. While former President Donald Trump is currently favored to win the primary, both of his challengers are fighting hard to secure their position as the runner-up.

According to the pollster’s founder, James Johnson, DeSantis’ standout debate performance could be the edge he needs.

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

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Johnson told the outlet that DeSantis was a far better match for Republican voters, given his socially conservative record.

‘Though a different, punchier DeSantis was on display last night, this tallies with what we have known for some time,” he 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. The question now is whether he can convert his debate boost into a clear second place showing in Iowa.”

During the debate, DeSantis and Haley grappled over issues including abortion and the war in Ukraine. DeSantis accused Haley of being insufficiently pro-life, while she criticized him over a lack of commitment to Ukraine.

Haley also attacked DeSantis for taking on Disney after the company campaigned against his state’s Parental Rights in Education bill.

“Government was intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people, it was never meant to be all things to all people,” Haley said Wednesday. “What we don’t need is government politicizing anything and everything.”

DeSantis, however, remained unapologetic.

“We need to stand up for the people and not bow down to woke corporations, and we know Nikki Haley will cave to the woke mob every single time,”

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The Iowa Caucuses will kick off on Monday, Jan. 15.

There will be at least one more GOP Presidential debate between Haley and DeSantis just before the New Hampshire primary. CNN will televise that debate on Jan. 18.

Other stories you may want to read:

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