Post-Debate Poll: DeSantis ‘Within Margin of Error’ With Trump in Iowa

According to a new post-debate poll of likely Iowa Republic caucus-goers, the gap between Governor Ron DeSantis and frontrunner Donald Trump is narrowing.

The survey by internal DeSantis pollster Public Opinion Strategies, finds that the Florida Governor received a significant bump from his performance at Wednesday’s debate, receiving the highest marks among the likely caucus-goers and beating out closest competitors Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley.

“Further, a full ballot test also shows DeSantis picking up significant ground since the debate,” the report stated.

“Both DeSantis and Haley saw significant increases in their ballot standing since before the debate, while Scott and Ramaswamy both slipped back a bit.”

DeSantis has leaped from 14 to 21 percent in support on the full ballot test. The latest figures still leave him at a heavy deficit behind former President Donald Trump at 41 percent but show him trouncing Haley (11%), Ramaswamy (7%), and Tim Scott (7%).

In a two-way ballot, however, the survey found DeSantis within striking distance of the former President, trailing just 3 points at 40 to 43 percent. The findings indicate a significant 14-point swing from before the debate when the pollster found DeSantis falling significantly behind at 34 to 51 percent.

“In a head-to-head ballot, DeSantis is now within the margin of error against Trump.”

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The report assessed DeSantis as “the clear winner on the debate stage,” with the survey finding that he received the highest marks from likely Iowa caucus-goers by a wide margin.

“Comparing the candidates who debated on Wednesday evening, DeSantis won every single key ‘attribute’ among likely Iowa caucus-goers.”

Respondents were asked to pick which candidate best reflected a series of attributes, including the strongest conservative, strongest leader, ‘able to defeat Biden,’ strongest on border security, and ‘able to defeat Trump.’ DeSantis received at least 32 percent across the board, while no other candidate topped 17 percent in any category.

DeSantis also had the most significant image improvement, adding 4 points to his favorability rating.

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On the other hand, Trump’s decision not to attend the debate appears to have slightly damaged his standing among Iowa voters. Voters ranked his favorability at 9 points lower than before the debate.

“Trump, Ramaswamy, and Christie were the big losers from the debate in terms of their image as each of these candidates had negative change in their net favorable-unfavorable.”

More voters than ever are reportedly “not considering” voting for the former President, jumping from 29 percent before the debate to 35 percent after the debate. That figure was as low as 20 percent last June.

“More than one-third of voters now say they are ‘NOT considering Trump’ – the highest figure we’ve seen.

The poll also found that despite audience members giving high marks to Ramaswamy’s performance, the political newcomer “was a simply a placeholder” for Trump. Among those who ranked his performance the best on stage, 60 percent say they plan to vote for the former President, while only 21 percent say they will vote for Ramaswamy.

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