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First Post-Debate Poll Released
Poll shows DeSantis, Haley, Scott are winners of first GOP debate; Trump, Christie, and Ramaswamy big losers
Public Opinion Strategies just released the first survey of Republican voters in the key state of Iowa since the GOP Presidential Debate on Wednesday night. It is just one poll and it is based on the opinion of 400 likely caucus-goers in the state (margin of error of ± 4.9 percentage points), so I will preface everything I’m about to say with a warning that we need to see if other polls support these findings before we draw too many conclusions, but the numbers are very interesting nonetheless.
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First of all, the poll shows that Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley made the biggest gains among Iowa caucus-goers coming out of the debate.
Meanwhile, Ron DeSantis and Tim Scott improved their favorability ratings1:
Even though Donald Trump didn’t participate in the debate, he seems to have taken a real hit with Iowa caucus-goers. While he only dropped by 1% in the bottom line numbers, his favorability took a big hit and Iowa caucus-goers seem to be reconsidering their support for him. Before the debate, 26% had settled on Trump as their pick while 29% were no longer considering Trump as an option. After the debate, Trump gained no solid voters, but 6% were added to the number no longer considering him. Now, more than one-third (35%) of the caucus-goers are not considering Trump at all.
In fact, in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, Ron DeSantis has pulled within the margin of error against Trump. Before the debate, DeSantis lost to Trump in that scenario 51% to 34%. After the debate, Trump only wins out by a margin of 43% to 40%.
Again, it will be interesting to see if this survey proves to be an outlier or a predictor of things to come as more surveys are sure to be released over the coming days and weeks.