Conservative pundits reacted to Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate by calling for the field to narrow while also concluding, along with a poll following the debate, that Gov. Ron DeSantis is the candidate in the best position to go up against former President Trump.
‘Honestly, nothing personal, but I felt Nikki Haley won the obnoxious title in this debate,’ conservative commentator Mark Levin posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. ‘Lots of personal attacks. Her record as governor is also quite weak. Scott began to address it. Pence, Burgham, Christie need to go. DeSantis was very solid. Actually got a bit more time. But time to thin the herd.’
‘The DeSantis strategy is do well in Iowa, the bottom three or four candidates should drop out at this point, they have no hope,’ Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz said on FOX Business.
‘It’s a two-man race at this point,’ political commentator Rob Smith posted on X. ‘I believe DeSantis will surprise in Iowa and New Hampshire, and it will completely reset the conversation. I am not paid to promote anyone, I call it as I see it.’
Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts posted on X that the debate between Trump and DeSantis is ‘the debate Americans want regardless of who their preferred candidate is.’
‘Tonight’s debate, which was a sideshow, emphasized the need for this idea. America deserves it.’
A 538/Washington Post/Ipsos poll after the debate found that a plurality of voters, 33%, felt DeSantis performed the best, and 54% ranked his performance as excellent or good, the highest of any candidate.
‘DeSantis is the only candidate whose favorability rating competes with Donald Trump’s, though more primary voters are considering voting for Trump over DeSantis,’ the poll stated.
‘Even as Trump and DeSantis command the GOP primary field among self-identified Republicans, likely Republican primary voters who identify as independents are split between Trump, DeSantis, and Haley.’