DeSantis, Haley see post-debate bump in Iowa poll

Republican presidential candidates, from left, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum stand on stage before a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by Fox News Channel Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Milwaukee.
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Typically, days following a big primary debate, like the one in Milwaukee earlier this week, political pundits offer their analysis on each of the participants — eight in this case — but this time was different.

The focus shifted away from other 2024 Republican hopefuls as former President Donald Trump, who skipped the debate and instead participated in an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, spent 20 minutes at the Fulton County Jail on Thursday.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis charged him and 18 others with 41 counts, including racketeering charges, in connection with efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results, as the Deseret News reported.

As for his mugshot, it instantly became viral, leading Trump to start selling merchandise featuring the picture.

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“The wall-to-wall news coverage of Trump’s arrest served as yet another example of the former president’s unique ability to suck up all available media oxygen, making it nearly impossible for his opponents’ message to break through to voters,” as Joan E. Greve wrote for The Guardian,

Greve added that Trump’s day at the county jail could erase any advantage the other candidates gained.

But, contrary to what Greve said, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the only GOP candidate polling in double digits, closed the wide gap slightly between him and Trump in a post-debate poll.

A new Public Opinion Strategies survey, first published by Fox News, found that among 400 Iowa likely GOP caucus attendees, support for DeSantis rose from 14% up to 21% after the debate. Meanwhile, Trump’s numbers dipped from 42% to 41%.

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Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley also saw a bump — going up from 3% to 11% after the debate.

Support for businessman Vivek Ramaswamy dropped from 10% to 7%, and the same goes for South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who slid from 8% to 7%.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson continued to poll 3% or lower.

Still, it’s clear that Trump maintains status as the front-runner.