These presidential candidates get biggest bump in 1st post-debate poll

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Candidates on stage at the Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (Video screenshot)
Candidates on stage at the Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (Video screenshot)

By Arjun Singh
Daily Caller News Foundation

Three candidates have increased their support after the first Republican presidential primary debate on Wednesday, according to a new poll.

The debate hosted eight candidates apart from Donald Trump, who has boycotted the debates citing his lead and whose interview with Tucker Carlson aired during the debate. While support for Trump declined by 6 percentage points, candidates Nikki Haley, Mike Pence and Ron DeSantis saw an increase in their support, according to a new poll released by Emerson College on Monday.

Haley saw her support increase by 5 percentage points, from 2% to 7%, according to the poll. Haley, who served as the cabinet-ranked ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, has been acclaimed by some conservative commentators for her debate performance — pointing to her remarks about abortion, foreign policy, appropriations earmarks and Social Security reform.

Nikki Haley at the Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (Video screenshot)
Nikki Haley at the Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (Video screenshot)

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“Can’t we all agree that we should ban late-term abortions? Can’t we all agree that we should encourage adoptions? Can’t we all agree that doctors and nurses who don’t believe in abortions shouldn’t have to perform them?” Haley said. She was praised by the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal — owned by conservative media baron Rupert Murdoch — which said that “she respected viewers by telling them the truth.”

Apart from Haley, Pence, who was Trump’s running mate twice previously, increased his support from 3% to 7%, according to the poll. Pence gained attention during the debate for his support for a six-week abortion limit, which Haley opposed, as well as his criticism of pro-Trump candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

Former Vice President Mike Pence at the Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (Video screenshot)
Former Vice President Mike Pence at the Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (Video screenshot)

“I’ve got news for you, Vivek. I’ve been in the hallway and West Wing. … Now is not the time for on-the-job training. … We don’t need to bring in a rookie,” Pence said, chastising Ramaswamy’s lack of prior elected office.

Ramaswamy’s support declined from 10% to 9%, according to the poll, even as many commentators termed him the “winner” of the debate. He remains ahead of Pence and Haley, the poll reports.

The candidate with the smallest increase was DeSantis, whose support rose from 10% to 12%. DeSantis, who is currently in second position behind Trump, was criticized by commentators for his inability to attract attention during the debate, with Ramasawamy being the target of most other candidate attacks.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., at the Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (Video screenshot)
Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., at the Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (Video screenshot)

The next GOP debate will be held on Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California.

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The poll was conducted between Aug. 25 and 26, 2023 and surveyed 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. FiveThirtyEight grades Emerson College’s polling as “A-,” with a Democratic skew of 0.3%.

Trump, Haley, Pence, DeSantis and Ramaswamy’s campaigns did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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