Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley emerged as the winner of the third GOP presidential debate, while conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy was the loser, according to a poll of Republican viewers.
A 538/Washington Post/Ipsos poll found that 34 percent of likely Republican primary and caucus voters who tuned into the third debate said Haley performed the best out of the five candidates. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) came in second place with 23 percent of voters saying he won the night.
While 15 percent said Ramaswamy had the best performance, a plurality of voters ranked him as having the worst performance overall. Twenty-nine percent said Ramaswamy performed the worst, followed by 24 percent who gave the distinction to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and 12 percent who said Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.).
The two-hour debate, hosted by NBC News, included some contentious exchanges among the five candidates. In one of the most memorable moments, Ramaswamy called Haley “Dick Cheney in 3-inch heels” in response to a foreign policy question, and Haley called Ramaswamy “scum” in a later exchange after he mentioned her daughter’s use of TikTok.
“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” Haley told Ramaswamy, as boos echoed from the audience. “You’re just scum,” she added.
More than half — 55 percent — of voters rated Haley’s performance as either excellent or very good, while 33 percent said the same for Ramaswamy. DeSantis also received high marks for his performance, with 53 percent saying he did excellent or very good.
Despite favorable ratings for Haley and DeSantis, former President Trump remained the front-runner for the primary, according to the poll; 63 percent of respondents said they are considering voting for Trump, followed by 48 percent for DeSantis and 38 percent for Haley.
The poll was conducted Nov. 8-9 among 731 potential Republican primary or caucus voters who watched the Nov. 8 debate. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.