DeSantis was literally center stage during the event, surrounded by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, pharmaceutical executive Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, all vying for the coveted honor of representing the Republican Party during the 2024 presidential election.
Now, one can ask the question why the other three — aside from DeSantis — are still running given the fact that they stand almost no chance at all of catching up to Trump. It's a valid inquiry, especially when you take into consideration only a million people even tuned in to watch the debate. People already know where these candidates stand on the issues and how they differ from each other. Nothing new is being said and as a result, nobody really cares to hear them bicker with each other. The debate was pointless. Most folks already know whom they are supporting in the primary.
According to the Daily Wire:
Of those who watched the NewsNation debate in Alabama, 30% said that DeSantis performed the best, followed by Haley, 23%; Christie, 19%; and Ramaswamy, 16%.
While 7% said that DeSantis did the worst, 9% said Haley, 31% said Christie, and 37% said Ramaswamy.
There was not a lot of movement in the poll in terms of candidates rising or falling in voter’s minds on who they would consider voting for.
Of those on stage, a higher percentage of voters were considering voting for DeSantis than any of the other candidates at 56%. Former President Donald Trump, who did not participate, received 61%
Popular conservative podcast host Megyn Kelly stated on Thursday that she, too, believed DeSantis to be the victor in the debate, going to say the biggest loser of the evening was Haley. I think the whole "girl boss" messaging of Haley is hurting her far more than its helping her. It's the kind of attitude we already get beaten over the head with from the radical left and it's off-putting.
We already know that she's a strong, independent woman with a lot of success under her belt. There's no need to be obnoxious about it. It's not a good look. That being said, it's also annoying when a dude steps up and acts like he's the Lord's gift to the rest of the world. You can be confident while maintaining humility.
“I mean, with all respect to her, I thought Nikki Haley lost last night because she shrunk away like she was not really a presence, and she’s been increasing her poll numbers by getting out there and being pugilistic, and that version of her did not appear on stage last night,” Kelly remarked during an interview.
“I thought Ron DeSantis had his best debate yet,” she continued. “And so I think you could probably say he’s the winner because he’s in the best poll position of the four.”
While it most certainly seems like Trump is all but assured to be the Republican Party nominee, anything can happen between now and the primary. Trump is tackling four indictments at the moment for a wide variety of different — and dare I say "trumped" up — charges, which could result in his being disqualified from the election.
I don't foresee that happening, but it's a possibility. Which means it's also possible DeSantis could end up being the man to take on Biden next year. The others have a much bigger mountain to climb before anyone considers them serious contenders for the nomination.