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The article from Hindustan Times, published on September 29, 2023, discusses the surprising performance of entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy in the second GOP primary debate held in Simi Valley, California. According to a survey conducted for DailyMail.com, Ramaswamy topped the ratings and polls among the 546 Republicans who watched the event. This defied initial reports that UN Ambassador and Gov. Nikki Haley outshined other candidates.
Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old political newcomer, scored a 6.9 out of 10, the highest rating among the seven candidates on stage. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis followed with a 6.5 rating. The South Carolina duo of Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott came in third and fourth with ratings of 5.6 and 5.5, respectively.
The survey also rated the candidates on various attributes, including strength, competence, charm, aggression, and annoyance. Ramaswamy emerged as the winner in several categories, being deemed the most well-spoken, persuasive, and aggressive (tied with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie). He also received the highest percentage of respondents who said he won the debate.
DeSantis , who has been trailing former President Donald Trump in most polls for months, did not have a breakthrough moment. He tied with Ramaswamy for being the most presidential and was voted the most competent but did not dominate the conversation or impress viewers as much as Ramaswamy did.
The only woman on stage, Haley, was deemed the most charming, while Scott did not stand out in any category. The other two candidates, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Vice President Mike Pence, were largely ignored by the respondents.
The Republicans who watched the debate remain loyal to Trump, who skipped the event to hold a rally in Michigan instead. Twenty-seven percent of them said that Trump was the real winner of the night.