Perspectives on the Republican Primary Debate

August 25, 2023
Republican Primary Debate

With the 2024 presidential election approaching, eight candidates took part in the first Republican primary debate to share their ideas with the American public and Republican voters. From August 23 to 24, 2023, we conducted a survey among Americans to explore their opinions on the candidates and how they felt the candidates performed in the Republican debate.

Some of the key highlights of our survey about the Republican primary debate include…

Republican voters think two candidates performed best

  • 29% of Americans watched the debate, with 15% watching all of it and 15% watching some, but not all. 36% of those who plan to vote Republican in 2024 watched the debate.
  • Among Republican voters who watched the debate, 23% say Vivek Ramaswamy won it, while 21% say Ron DeSantis was the winner. Mike Pence came in third place, at 11%.

Republican Primary DebateDownload the report

Trump’s presence was felt, despite his absence

  • 45% of Americans agree with Trump’s decision to boycott the first Republican debate.
  • Most (61%) Republican voters would like to see Trump as the Republican candidate for the 2024 election, with Ron DeSantis coming in at a distant second, as the preferred candidate of 9% of Republican voters.
  • If a presidential election were held today, Trump would perform well in a head-to-head race against President Biden. Among decided voters, Trump would receive 44% of the popular vote, while Biden would receive 41%, and 15% of voters would choose someone else.

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