NOW: Trump Declared Winner

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

( – In last night’s Republican debate, Donald Trump was declared the winner despite not being present, as revealed in a post-debate poll for

Interestingly, Ron DeSantis, a challenger, earned commendations for appearing the most ‘presidential’ and ‘competent’ among those on stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. Analysts noted that DeSantis delivered a more solid performance than in the previous debate and drew from his tenure as Florida’s governor to illustrate his leadership style.

However, Trump’s enduring influence over the Republican base became evident when a J.L. Partners survey showed 27% of viewers considered him the victor of the evening, slightly edging out tech mogul Vivek Ramaswamy and leading DeSantis by a 10-point margin. Instead of debating on stage, Trump was in Michigan, aiming to gain from the ongoing autoworkers’ strike in this potentially pivotal state for the general election.

The debate saw seven candidates clashing, marked by intermittent disputes and candidates often overshadowing one another. Among the participants, 35% of the 546 Republican respondents believed Ramaswamy emerged victorious, while 24% felt DeSantis stood out. Following them were former Vice President Mike Pence (11%), former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott (both at 7%), former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (6%), and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (3%).

Commenting on the results, James Johnson, co-founder of JLP, stated, “In the absence of anyone landing a knockout blow, Trump was the big winner of last night’s debate. This is a Trump-dominated electorate and a nominal Vivek Ramaswamy win in our debate poll is more a reflection of that than anything else. Ron DeSantis can claim something of a win, having come across as the most presidential and competent, but he did not shine through in the way he needed to either. Christie and Burgum were the definitive losers, written off by Republicans as annoying and boring respectively.”

The survey, conducted online immediately after the debate, presented a margin of error of 4.2%. To glean more detailed insights, the poll provided a list of descriptors for participants to assign to each candidate. Notably, 26% labeled DeSantis ‘competent’ and 19% deemed him ‘presidential’—the highest ratings. Ramaswamy also garnered positive feedback, with respondents labeling him ‘strong’ (24%), ‘well-spoken’ (33%), ‘persuasive’ (23%), and on par with DeSantis in ‘presidential’ standing. Meanwhile, 11% found Haley ‘charming,’ while 20% found Christie ‘annoying,’ who also criticized Trump’s absence.

Sharing his perspective, Johnson observed that the debate had minimal impact on the overall landscape. “We will need to watch the primary polls in the coming days and weeks but all looks unchanged,” he remarked. ‘Trump-leaning voters favored Vivek in the absence of their man. Pence appealed to a chunk of moderates. Haley and Scott did well but did not dominate the conversation. DeSantis did fine – but nothing more. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this was the dud debate: leaving Donald Trump as the continued clear frontrunner.”

For more about the results from the, click HERE.