Former President Donald Trump's staggering climb in all of the 2024 Republican presidential public opinion polls after being criminally indicted a 4th time, is nothing less than mind-blowing. In the latest Wall Street Journal poll taken in the hotly contested primary race, President Trump holds a 46-point lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is considered to be his biggest political opponent in the field of eleven or so candidates.
While Gov. DeSantis has dropped 3 points, former Ambassador Nikki Haley has risen 3 points and has surpassed businessman Vivek Ramaswamy for third place.
In the Real Clear Politics average of polls, President Trump holds a 53.6 percent approval rating, while Gov. DeSantis has garnered 14.3 percent approval ratings with Ramaswamy and Haley following at 7.1 and 6 percent, respectively.
Former Vice President Mike Pence and Governor Chris Christie both come in at a distant 4th and 5th place, but are within striking distance of Ramaswamy and Haley.
For all intents and purposes, this race appears to be between Trump and DeSantis, as expected.
And that is the narrative that Team DeSantis has been trying to make.
“There was a scrum for third place. This has been a two-man race since the beginning,” said Ryan Tyson, one of DeSantis’s political consultants.
During the first GOP presidential debate of the 2024 cycle, DeSantis performed exceptionally well, as did Haley and Ramaswamy.
Ramaswamy, who is seen as the outsider in the race, channeled then-candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 debate performances by overtly throwing political hand grenades during the debate.
Former President George W. Bush aide and political consultant Karl Rove recently penned an op-ed eviscerating Ramaswamy as an “unusually gib, shallow, overbearing, smooth-talking” that proclaimed that he was “the only person on the stage who isn’t bought and paid for.”
Ramaswamy’s remark or stunt blew up the debate.
Was this what Ramaswamy wanted to do all along?
Well, if it was, then “Mission Accomplished.”
Ramaswamy is appealing to the younger generation of Republican voters, but when it comes to foreign policy knowledge, and issue many more seasoned voters tend to be concerned with, “The Swamy” was skewered by Ambassador Haley.
“Under your watch, you will make America less safe,” Haley said during the debate. “You have no foreign policy experience, and it shows.”
Haley’s remark was in response to Ramaswamy’s recent commentary that federal funding to Israel would cut off, and that he believes in negotiating the peace between Ukraine and Russia by allowing Russia to keep control of territories they have invaded and occupied.
“He has shown that he’s naive,” Haley told Fox News in an exclusive interview. “He doesn’t think we need to continue to partner with Israel.
“And it’s naive to say, ‘Oh, we’re going to go to Russia and tell them, ‘You quit playing with China,’” she added. “It’s just not accurate. I’m always going to take the side of Israel. I’m always going to take the side of us being strong when it comes against a terrorist group that says ‘Death to America.’ He’s completely wrong on this, and the American people see that.”
“The Swamy” rebuked Haley, saying they he supports the current fiduciary responsibility and commitment the U.S. has with Israel, but that those commitments should be reassessed in 2028.
Both Haley and Ramaswamy are seeing a bump in their polling, but as DeSantis continues to expand his profile and grassroots campaign in states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, the Governor, also known as “America’s Governor,” could be on the very of putting significant distance between himself and the rest of the “scrum” of candidates that currently trail him.
The second Republican presidential debate is on September 27th at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.